"Attend a real church in virtual reality," says the website of a VR church established by Los Angeles, California-based Pastor D.J. Soto and whose mission is "to explore and communicate God through virtual reality, augmented reality, and next generation technologies." CPost
"In a new analysis of 1 million U.S. teens, my co-authors and I looked at how teens were spending their free time and which activities correlated with happiness, and which didn’t. . . . In one experiment, people who were randomly assigned to give up Facebook for a week ended that time happier, less lonely and less depressed than those who continued to use Facebook." IntellectualTakeout
Reposted with permission from The Cripplegate.
by Jesse Johnson
What is the worst Christmas gift you can give your middle-school student? I don’t mean that spiritually—as in unbelief—or theologically—as in The Jesus Calling Student Edition. I mean it seriously. What is the worst gift that you can give your middle-school student?
This Christmas thousands of middle school students are going to get a gift under their tree or in their stocking, and it is going to wreck their lives.
The worst gift you can give your middle-school student is …
"The name is, perhaps, misleading; to support net neutrality is to support placing the internet more fully under government supervision. The related political debate often divides traditional allies with arguments for free expression pitted against defenses of small government." Center for Vision & Values
Shibuya Mirai is an AI chatbot designed to interact as a seven-year-old boy. Mirai was granted residency status in Tokyo, marking another milestone in the journey to the development of consciousness in machines. Cognitive scientists Dehaene, Lau, and Kouider suggest that “consciousness arises in the only physical system that undoubtedly possesses it: the human brain,”1 and they essentially consider consciousness to be computations, report, and self-monitoring.
Mirai possesses at least computational aspects of consciousness and even personality, and gives occasion for inquiry into whether or not these attributes ultimately require a divine spark, or whether they can be demonstrated simply through natural processes. In short: if humanity can create machines that can fulfill core human functions, perhaps that would be evidence that no supernatural creator is necessary at all.
The pursuit of artificial intelligence is an incredible one, and significantly worthwhile, even if only for different reasons. Mirai’s existential setting illustrates the value of the process, and evidences some vital truths: