What's new on the website

      ( … and What's new in the world of AI)

May 11, 2021
   The list of AI conferences linked to in the Main AI Concepts article was updated through the end of 2021. Most of the 2021 conferences have been scheduled to take place virtually, just like the 2020 conferences. A few conferences are still hoping for a hybrid in-person and virtual format.

April 3, 2021
   Looked up an entry in the Glossary page and realized that I wrote this page so hastily, I did not even bother with a spell checker. So for example, the entry about Integrated Information Theory said this: "Although the human brain is the main substrate of interest, it may not be the only one. So the theory may be interestingly tied to methphysics." That may be very true, but methphysics, interesting at it may be, was meant to be metaphysics 😄. Fixed all the other misspelling pearls.

March 25, 2021
  In the page About the Author, I am trying to alert the reader to some of my political biases. Since the original publication of the website in February of 2020 the political landscape in the U.S. has changed. Part of my original motivation for developing this website was my concern with the approaches of the previous Administration regarding AI matters, especially the negative impact of its immigration policies on our AI progress and on our positioning vis-a-vis other AI powers, like China and Russia. I have revised the paragraphs at the very end of the page in which I mention some signs of a new approach to AI matters by the new Administration and express my hope for a cooperative foreign policy to complement that AI approach.

February 19, 2021
   Have started the promised revision of the website, given the 1st anniversary of its publishing. Each article now has two additional pieces of information, right underneath its title: an Original date and a Revision date. The revision date is actually a hyperlink, taking the reader to the description of the revision here in the What's New file.

January 30, 2021
   Spent the last couple of months on an unusual journey on my personal website. Here is the magnificent 😄 outcome: Games. That gibberish may make it to this website eventually, but not anytime soon.

November 22, 2020
   In the article on Artificial Consciousness, a video clip from the YouTube metaRising channel has been added. It provides a good framework for the various questions around the possibility of ASI acquiring consciousness. You may want to watch the entire documentary here: Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness.

November 14, 2020
   Just like everyone else in the U.S., I have been preoccupied with the November 3 elections. Working on a wide update and a renewed emphasis on the idea that truth matters, especially in the ever increasing presence of AI systems. Respect for truth has seen a remarkable decay in the past 4 years.

October 13, 2020
   Rewrote a few paragraphs in the AI: Most Powerful Weapon Ever article. As you would suspect, weapons are a controversial subject, and my insistence on using videos to make better points (than I would make with words) runs into trouble sometime. Some of the "touchy" videos I use get frequently removed. So I had to use different ones and adjust sightly the points I wanted to make. The basic ideas are the same though.

September 21, 2020
   The newly released  Social Dilemma  documentary on Netflix brings additional ammunition to the issues discussed in our website, especially in relation to the How We Form Political Opinions, AI and Fake Data, and Government versus High-Tech articles. Please watch the documentary.


September 13, 2020
   The list of AI conferences linked to in the Main AI Concepts article was updated through 2021. Secondly, some of the 2020 conferences have been scheduled to take place virtually.

August 23, 2020
  The site underwent a 2-month restructuring, in particular the URL structure, all with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind. The site has many more visitors now, and so it is time to make it easier for the search engines.

June 29, 2020
  Reviewing an interview with Karl Friston (discoverer/proponent of the Free Energy Principle) by Lev Friedman. You can watch it directly on YouTube in its entirety, before I launch into a discussion of its many implications for our topics. The id of the video is "NwzuibY5kUs". Alternatively, you can go to Friedman's podcast site, where you will find a larger selection of interviews on the topic of AI: Artificial Intelligence: AI Podcast

June 5, 2020
  I received some constructive criticism about the treatment of the Century of Humiliation in the AI In a Bipolar World article and revised a few paragraphs. I am working on a deeper revision though.

May 15, 2020
  Semantic markup has been added as a test to one of the articles. The work will continue until all the articles will be shown with enriched information by search engines.

April 17, 2020
  The article on Artificial Consciousness has been revised to account for some new material on the Neural Correlates of Consciousness; a short page has been added to clarify the various terms and structures of the biological neuron.

March 25, 2020
  Improved the responsiveness and performance of the website; added it to Cloudflare so it can perform faster in all parts of the world; compressed some files; technical stuff in other words. Content had only minor changes.

February 23, 2020
  AI Blue Dot has a Facebook page. We'll use that page as our home for discussions.

November 21, 2020 update: This page is no longer active. A page is not the proper way to go, I am trying to put together a Facebook group, in which other people can contribute and I am only one of the moderators. It's far more interesting that way. Write me at the address in the contact page if you are interested in moderating such group, and let me know about your area of expertise. We will need an active researcher in the area of AI Ethics in particular.


February 22, 2020
  Minor additions and clarifications to the articles How We Form Political Opinions: An AI Viewpoint and Superintelligence and God.

February 1, 2020
  The original version. The expectation is that, after feedback is received from you (and for which I would be very grateful), errors will be corrected and unclear parts will be formulated better. Minor improvements will happen daily.


What's new in the world of AI

      ( … and What's new on the website)

February 15, 2021
Will AI replace or augment humans in the wworkforce? This is a difficult question and many very different answers have been given. This is a thoughtful presentation of this dilemma: Artificial Intelligence And The End Of Work. Most technologists lean towards augmentation. But the author of the article is leaning towards replacement, not augmentation, and reflects on what this might mean for humanity. From the article: "The myth of augmentation has spread far and wide in real-world contexts, too. One powerful reason why: job loss from automation is a frightening prospect and a political hot potato. Let’s unpack that. Entrepreneurs, technologists, politicians and others have much to gain by believing—and by persuading others to believe—that AI will not replace but rather will supplement humans in the workforce. Employment is one of the most basic social and political necessities in every society in the world today. To be openly job-destroying is therefore a losing proposition for any technology or business."

February 10, 2021
AI can pose new mathematical conjectures, a first result of this kind. Posing good conjectures in mathematics seemed to be a very creative human endeavor, so the fact that AI can sift through enough math and create interesting conjectures is pretty significant. Machines Are Inventing New Math We've Never Seen, published by researchers from the Technion in Israel and from Google's operation in Tel Aviv.

December 17, 2020
AI has been used in many ways to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for the development of new vaccines. This time it is being used after the vaccines are administered, to track the after effects. From the article: "The technology will also track issues or trends related to ethnicity, age, gender, or other demographic factors that can come into play with the vaccine" : How AI is Helping with COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Tracking.

November 11, 2020
Mathematics can be looked at as a game, played according to rules specified within what we call formal systems. In theory, a computer can be programmed to produce all the theorems of such a formal system. So it could produce all the algebra, the geometry, and the calculus you have learned in school. In practice though, mathematicians still have to rely on a great deal of inventiveness to find such proofs. Nevertheless, the strive to develop proof assistants has never ceased and there have been many notable but disparate successes. Now this work is being pushed even further, and in a more organized way.

From the article The Effort to Build the Mathematical Library of the Future: "Digitizing mathematics is a longtime dream. The expected benefits range from the mundane—computers grading students’ homework—to the transcendent: using artificial intelligence to discover new mathematics and find new solutions to old problems. Mathematicians expect that proof assistants could also review journal submissions, finding errors that human reviewers occasionally miss, and handle the tedious technical work that goes into filling in all the details of a proof."

If this interests you in a more serious way, I have written a program of study for formal software development, in which these ideas are treated in more depth: Formal Software Development Program. It's in a slide presentation format, which allows a smooth gradual viewing of each page; view it in Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download from Adobe), not in your browser.

November 3, 2020
An interesting view on the future of Artificial Intelligence, in an interview with Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer of deep learning techniques. For his contributions, Hinton was awarded the Turing Award last year, together with Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio.

Interviewer: "You think deep learning will be enough to replicate all of human intelligence. What makes you so sure?"

Hinton: "I do believe deep learning is going to be able to do everything, but I do think there’s going to have to be quite a few conceptual breakthroughs. For example, in 2017 Ashish Vaswani et al. introduced transformers, which derive really good vectors representing word meanings. It was a conceptual breakthrough. It’s now used in almost all the very best natural-language processing. We’re going to need a bunch more breakthroughs like that."

October 12, 2020
   A timely Forbes article on some future directions of AI, with an informative look at the types of networks called transformers, the recent success they have had in NLP, and their potential uses in other areas, like computer vision. The Next Generation Of Artificial Intelligence. I'll probably add it to the permanent "Further Reading" list as a complement to the Main AI Concepts article.

October 6, 2020
   NVIDIA Uses AI to Slash Bandwidth on Video Calls. Obviously, this is even more meaningful given the current reliance on video calls by businesses and individuals, given the covid health crisis. From the article:
"What the researchers have achieved has remarkable results: by replacing the traditional h.264 video codec with a neural network, they have managed to reduce the required bandwidth for a video call by an order of magnitude. In one example, the required data rate fell from 97.28 KB/frame to a measly 0.1165 KB/frame – a reduction to 0.1% of required bandwidth. The mechanism behind AI-assisted video conferencing is breathtakingly simple. The technology works by replacing traditional full video frames with neural data. Typically, video calls work by sending h.264 encoded frames to the recipient, and those frames are extremely data-heavy. With AI-assisted video calls, first, the sender sends a reference image of the caller. Then, instead of sending a stream of pixel-packed images, it sends specific reference points on the image around the eyes, nose, and mouth."

September 13, 2020


September 12, 2020
   This is an article that meshes well with the theme found in our AI in a Bipolar World article, namely that US and China are leaving the world behind. Europe Feels Squeeze as Tech Competition Heats Up Between U.S. and China

September 10, 2020
   The Autocomplete feature in the Google search uses ML on the data collected from users. Quote from the article: "The company says that it will now remove any Autocomplete predictions that seem to endorse or oppose a candidate or a political party, or that make a claim about voting or the electoral process. That would mean eliminating predictions like 'you can vote by phone,'' 'you can’t vote by phone' or anything suggesting that you donate to a party or candidate.". here

August 14, 2020
  Using an unconventional method, machine learning, first-year physics students solve a 30-year old problem in astronomy. here.

July 24, 2020
  Apple has been the top buyer of AI startups, but it has not yet translated that power into visible results, as for example Siri is trailing all the other major personal assistants. here.

July 24, 2020
  The biggest multidisciplinary design company in Russia passed off an AI designer as human for more than a year, and no one caught on. here.

July 19, 2020
  Although the article has been published in April, it is still making its rounds. It contains a very good explanation of the differences between neuromorphic computing chips and AI accelerators. They DO NOT target the same AI applications. here.

June 28, 2020
  A nice review of the role of AI in combating the current COVID-19 crisis, from the Aspen Ideas Festival (it's a long video) is now on YouTube. Watch it directly on YouTube, the id of the video is 8LShJa_ovCY. You can find a fuller coverage of the festival here.

June 12, 2020
   The Elements of Statistical Learning (the bible for those of us working in this field), by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani and Jerome Friedman, is among the books released for free.

June 5, 2020
  Lawmakers introduced bicameral legislation this week aimed at keeping the United States ahead of China and other adversaries in AI efforts

May 14, 2020


April 17, 2020
  AI Uncovers a Potential Treatment for Covid-19 Patients

April 16, 2020
  MIT’s AI predicts catastrophe if social distancing restrictions relax too soon

March 17, 2020
  DeepMind’s Protein Folding AI Is Going After Coronavirus

March 12, 2020
  AI could help with the next pandemic — but not with this one

February 28, 2020
  European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence

February 20, 2020
  How Technology Is Changing the Future of Higher Education

January 23, 2020
  China cares as deeply about AI ethics as the US, Microsoft CEO says, as he calls for global rules