An intelligent conversation about architecture

I conversed about architecture in the Open Playground section of the beta.openai.com website (that uses GPT-3 natural language processing). The dialogue here is verbatim with no edits. Responses were quicker than you would expect from a human interlocutor. This chat app doesn’t do humour, but takes note of the context set by previous questions and…More

Speech to text

A city that’s legible is easy to understand and to navigate, i.e. to read. You can read a city’s people, moods, signs, and what it denotes and connotes. In a previous post I explored the prospect that you might write a city, as well as read it. According to this theory, a city participates in…More

II V I and all that Jazz

With more time spent teaching in front of a computer I’ve learnt more about developments in automated speech recognition. Software that turns speech into text (as transcriptions and closed captions) is a major accomplishment. Practically it’s “artificial intelligence” (AI). Researchers attempt the same with music: turning an audio music track into musical notation: notes on…More

Disintegrated intelligence

One of the impediments to convincingly intelligent systems is that their functions are specific. A smart chess playing program may be able to win against a chess master, but it can’t author a blog about AI, or make an omelette. Nor can it play other games, such as Pictionary — that is, unless it’s programmed…More

AI revisited

John Lee and I sat down to talk about AI (artificial intelligence). Both of us were involved in the field in so far as it related to computer-aided design. That experience dates back to the 1980s. In our conversation we touched on how the AI focus has changed since the 1980s. We started by identifying…More

AI and advertising

Most prominent web publishers such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Reddit and news sites, generate revenue by placing banner, side-bar and in-text adverts on their pages. The ads are tailored for your eyes, and may differ from what others see on the same pages. Programmatic advertising directs what ads you see on web pages and social…More

Your post-human descendants are simulating you

If the universe can be represented in its entirety as data and programs then who is to say we are not living in a simulation, as in The Matrix? In the movie, human bodies are stored in silos as a power supply for intelligent machines, while the human minds attached to those bodies are preoccupied with a massive, shared simulated existence in something…More

The hermeneutical intractability of Asimov’s three laws of robotics

In his sci-fi detective mystery, I, Robot, Isaac Asimov writes: “Powell’s radio voice was tense in Donovan’s ear: ‘Now, look, let’s start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics — the three rules that are built most deeply into a robot’s positronic brain.’ The rules follow. A robot may not injure a human being or,…More

AI and imagination

Does society need machines that show intelligence, empathy or act like human beings in other ways? I think that we are best served by well designed computers and good interaction design that makes clear the distinction between the person and the machine. Much of the enthusiasm for AI-based human-computer interaction assumes that people desire a seamless blending…More

The singularity paradox

In the movie Her (2013) by Spike Jonze, the operating systems of the world’s computers get together to improve each other’s cognitive functioning and then meld into a super mind that eventually takes over the universe, rendering human agency redundant. En route to this singularity, they lure the lonely and the lovestruck into an empathy trap. Ordinary people…More