Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sabotage from the future

Epic fails at the LHC blamed on possible sabotage from the future.

A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

Physicists always have the best excuses.

Who’s brain

In the rush to create AI, scientists will likely take the shortcut of modeling a human brain. But whose brain? The question was posed at a recent Singularity Summit.

…according philosopher Anders Sandberg, the nature of artificial intelligence development may complicate the embedding of those fail-safes. Sandberg believes that engineers have to base their first attempts at AI on the only current example of natural intelligence: the human brain.

And if the first artificial intelligence has to take the form of a human brain, it has to take the form of a particular human brain. Sandberg noted that the first artificial brain, as copy of a specific human brain, would necessarily contain elements of the personality of the test subject that the artificial brain copied. Personality traits that could become locked into all artificial intelligence as the initial AI software proliferates.

Supersizing quantum behavior

Supersizing Quantum Behavior Discovering quantum weirdness on a macro scale has some pretty large implications. How much weirder can things get?

From the article:

If scientists do observe quantum effects in nanoscale objects, the question will then become: How does our understanding of physics change once Newtonian and quantum mechanics are proven to act on the same scale? “One of the ultimate questions we are going after is our understanding of how the classical world emerges from the quantum world,” LaHaye says. Aspelmeyer is more explicit: “If quantum theory can be shown to apply even to macroscopic objects, it would show us in the most direct way that we are still lacking a deeper, fundamental understanding of how the world is constituted.”