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Home » References » Check in with Douglas Hofstadter, Craig Venter, and Schrodinger

Check in with Douglas Hofstadter, Craig Venter, and Schrodinger


James Somers, The Atlantic, The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think, here.

Hofstadter wanted to ask: Why conquer a task if there’s no insight to be had from the victory? “Okay,” he says, “Deep Blue plays very good chess—so what? Does that tell you something about how we play chess? No. Does it tell you about how Kasparov envisions, understands a chessboard?” A brand of AI that didn’t try to answer such questions—however impressive it might have been—was, in Hofstadter’s mind, a diversion. He distanced himself from the field almost as soon as he became a part of it. “To me, as a fledgling AI person,” he says, “it was self-evident that I did not want to get involved in that trickery. It was obvious: I don’t want to be involved in passing off some fancy program’s behavior for intelligence when I know that it has nothing to do with intelligence. And I don’t know why more people aren’t that way.”

Ira Flatow, NPR, Craig Venter: Life at the Speed of Light, here. Hahaha, Gretchen Morgenson has problems with Synthetic CDOs – just wait for the  first market gap in Synthetic Biology. Pink I is going to go ahead and call first on Bio Derivatives, Life defined solely based on the lives of other underlying  organisms. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Donald Trump are just some obvious examples of non-Synthetic Bio Derivatives. Let’s check with Google to see if Pink I is first on “Bio Derivatives.” Uh oh, we might not be first. To be clear we are not defining, a derivative contract with the underlying being living organisms, e.g., Fantasy Basketball or Obamacare. We define Bio Derivative as a living organism contractually defined based on underlying living organisms, e.g., Canary in a coal mine, sort of.

Edwin Schrodinger, What is Life? here.


A scientist is supposed to have a complete and thorough I of knowledge, at first hand, of some subjects and, therefore, is usually expected not to write on any topic of which he is not a life, master.

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