Science

An AI Bot Granted Residency in Tokyo Teaches Us About Our Creator

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:

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Scientists Replay Movie Encoded in DNA

"For the first time, a primitive movie has been encoded in – and then played back from – DNA in living cells. Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health say it is a major step toward a 'molecular recorder' that may someday make it possible to get read-outs, for example, of the changing internal states of neurons as they develop." NIMH

850 reads

Earth Day 2017 and the Anti-Scientific ‘March for Science’

"[S]ound science is based on evidence and not climate scaremongering. ... doesn’t work by consensus... tests theories and predictions against observations of the real world...doesn’t intimidate dissenters, manipulate data, attack critics, or play lackey to politics."

1155 reads

Religion drives skepticism about evolution, but not climate change

"In a recent edition of the journal Environment and Behavior, Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund and her colleagues write that while religious views drive Americans’ rejection of evolution, skepticism about climate change is more a function of political views and lack of confidence in the work of scientists." RNS

992 reads

Climate Science, Energy Policy, Poverty, and Christian Faith: How do they Connect?

"In the March 16, 2016, issue of Forbes astrophysicist Ethan Siegel’s article The Next Great Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ is Coming! sought to refute sceptics of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) by arguing that the apparent lack of statistically significant global warming over roughly the last 18 or 19 years is just one in a series of lulls in a long-term warming trend for which human action is responsible." CW

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