Summary of “Human intelligence and AI are vastly different”

Everywhere you look, AI is conquering new domains, tasks and skills that were previously thought to be the exclusive domain of human intelligence.
The answer to that question is: It’s wrong to compare artificial intelligence to the human mind, because they are totally different things, even if their functions overlap at times.
The AI is even able to mimic natural human behavior, using inflections and intonations as any human speaker would.
Let’s stop comparing AI with human intelligence.
In contrast, human intelligence is good for settings where you need common sense and abstract decisions, and bad at tasks that require heavy computations and data processing in real time.
AI and human intelligence complement each other, making up for each other’s shortcomings.
A human analyst, on the other hand, is not very good at monitoring gigabytes of data going through a company’s network, but they’re adept at relating anomalies to different events and figuring out which ones are the real threats.
As AI becomes adept at performing more and more tasks, we as humans will find more time to put our intelligence to real use, at being creative, being social, at arts, sports, literature, poetry and all the things that are valuable because the human element and character that goes into them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A history of happiness explains why capitalism makes us feel empty inside”

A new book entitled The Happiness Fantasy by Carl Cederström, a business professor at Stockholm University, traces our current conception of happiness to its roots in modern psychiatry and the so-called Beat generation of the ’50s and ’60s. He argues that the values of the countercultural movement – liberation, freedom, and authenticity – were co-opted by corporations and advertisers, who used them to perpetuate a culture of consumption and production.
I spoke to Cederström about how this happened and why he thinks happiness ought to be seen as a collective project that promotes deeper engagement with the world around us.
Although Sigmund Freud didn’t think human beings were especially designed for happiness, there were other figures who emerged from that movement, people like the Austrian psychoanalyst William Reich, who popularized this idea that happiness was connected to free love and free sexuality.
As you note in the book, our idea of happiness has been transformed to make us better consumers and producers, and that’s not an accident.
So is there any way for us to truly change our collective conception of happiness without also changing the underlying economic structure?
There really is no way to accurately compare happiness today with happiness 50 or 100 years ago, but this mania for individual satisfaction and this idea that buying and collecting more stuff will make us happy has produced a spectacularly unequal world, and it has, in my opinion, left people less fulfilled and more empty inside.
Sean Illing Your book is focused on the Western world, but do you think the East, with its very different religious and cultural traditions, in general has a better view of happiness that the Western world?
Sean Illing You said earlier that we need to reimagine a new happiness fantasy, one that is less self-involved and more grounded in the world around us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How AI-generated music is changing the way hits are made”

This raises the question: could artificial intelligence one day replace musicians? For the second episode of The Future of Music, I went to LA to visit the offices of AI platform Amper Music and the home of Taryn Southern, a pop artist who is working with Amper and other AI platforms to co-produce her debut album I AM AI. Using AI as a tool to make music or aid musicians has been in practice for quite some time.
You don’t have to know code or composition or even music theory in order to make a song with it.
If AI is currently good enough to make jingly elevator music like the clip above, how long until it can create a number one hit? And if it gets to that point, what does it mean for human musicians?
“Using AI, I’m writing my lyrics and my vocal melodies to the actual music and using that as a source of inspiration,” Southern tells me.
Southern originally turned to AI because even though she was a songwriter, she knew “Very, very little about music theory.” It was a roadblock that frustrated her to no end.
“I’d find a beautiful chord on the piano,” Southern says, “And I’d write an entire song around that, but then I couldn’t get to the next few chords because I just didn’t know how to play what I was hearing in my head. Now I’m able to iterate with the music and give it feedback and parameters and edit as many times as I need. It still feels like it’s mine in a sense.”
Of course, using AI also has the added benefit of allowing Southern and others with no formal music background to participate in making music.
“Yes, we are totally cheating. If music is concretely defined as this one process that everyone must adhere to in order to get to some sort of end goal yes, I’m cheating. I am leading the way for all the cheaters.” She laughs, and then pointedly says, “The music creation process can’t be so narrowly defined.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History”

In February, 1989, Francis Fukuyama gave a talk on international relations at the University of Chicago.
The “End of history” claim was picked up in the mainstream press, Fukuyama was profiled by James Atlas in the New York Times Magazine, and his article was debated in Britain and in France and translated into many languages, from Japanese to Icelandic.
To say, as Fukuyama does, that “The desire for status-megalothymia-is rooted in human biology” is the academic equivalent of palmistry.
Fukuyama resorts to this tactic because he wants to do with the desire for recognition what he did with liberalism in “The End of History?” He wants to universalize it.
“Human psychology is much more complex than the rather simpleminded economic model suggests,” Fukuyama concludes.
“Identity” can be read as a corrective to the position that Fukuyama staked out in “The End of History?” Universal liberalism isn’t impeded by ideology, like fascism or communism, but by passion.
What is odd about Fukuyama’s dilemma is that, in the philosophical source for his original theory about the end of history, recognition was not a problem.
As Fukuyama stated explicitly in “The End of History?,” he was adopting an interpretation of Hegel made in the nineteen-thirties by a semi-obscure intellectual adventurer named Alexandre Kojève.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History”

In February, 1989, Francis Fukuyama gave a talk on international relations at the University of Chicago.
The “End of history” claim was picked up in the mainstream press, Fukuyama was profiled by James Atlas in the New York Times Magazine, and his article was debated in Britain and in France and translated into many languages, from Japanese to Icelandic.
To say, as Fukuyama does, that “The desire for status-megalothymia-is rooted in human biology” is the academic equivalent of palmistry.
Fukuyama resorts to this tactic because he wants to do with the desire for recognition what he did with liberalism in “The End of History?” He wants to universalize it.
“Human psychology is much more complex than the rather simpleminded economic model suggests,” Fukuyama concludes.
“Identity” can be read as a corrective to the position that Fukuyama staked out in “The End of History?” Universal liberalism isn’t impeded by ideology, like fascism or communism, but by passion.
What is odd about Fukuyama’s dilemma is that, in the philosophical source for his original theory about the end of history, recognition was not a problem.
As Fukuyama stated explicitly in “The End of History?,” he was adopting an interpretation of Hegel made in the nineteen-thirties by a semi-obscure intellectual adventurer named Alexandre Kojève.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hume is the amiable, modest, generous philosopher we need today”

Posterity loves a tragic end, which is one reason why the cult of David Hume, arguably the greatest philosopher the West has ever produced, never took off.
Hume saw human beings as we really are, stripped of all pretension.
Hume did not just bring human beings down to Earth, he robbed us of any enduring essence.
That’s why Hume had no problem attributing reason to animals.
Hume never explicitly articulated what such a life would consist of, but he arguably did even better: he showed it by his own example.
This fundamental moderation is, I think, another reason why Hume has never become a popular philosopher.
True lovers of the secular, reasonable way of life Hume stood for ought to avoid hysterical condemnations of religion and superstition as well as overly optimistic praise for the power of science and rationality.
Hume modelled a way of life that was gentle, reasonable, amiable: all the things public life now so rarely is.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New Theory Explains Why Homo Sapiens Outlived the Neanderthals”

It’s easy to forget that we’re a single species within the genus Homo because everyone else is dead. Currently, it looks like Homo – a group of hominins that includes ancient beings like Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis – is a family of seven, though that number is debatable.
Regardless, Homo sapiens are the only humans alive, and the reason why is still a mystery.
In other words, Homo sapiens are, and have been, very good at living in widely different parts of the world.
At least 45,000 years ago, Homo sapiens were colonizing a range of intensely challenging settings, including deserts, tropical rainforests, and Palearctic regions.
That’s not to say that other members of the genus, like Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis, didn’t migrate far beyond Africa.
Says Roberts, we’ve only found fossil evidence of Homo sapiens in other settings, although “In some cases, like deserts, it remains debated how arid they were when humans got there.”
Still, there’s a lot of work to be done if this theory is to bring a close to the mystery of Homo sapiens’ survival.
Roberts and Stewart agree their theory is contingent on the fossil record as it stands, and for their part reason that Pleistocene Homo sapiens were able to adapt to extreme regions because of their ability to cooperate with people outside of their family.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The complicated truth about a cat’s purr”

Part of the mystery around the purr is that we often only notice cats purring “When we tickle them in places that they like to be tickled”, says Debevere.
“All cats are different, some never purr and some will purr constantly,” she says.
This may persist with some adult cats who purr as they feed – or who purr beforehand as they try and convince a human it’s dinner time.
“The more science has delved into the purr, the more it seems to have uncovered.”Researchers have recorded ‘ordinary purrs’ and purrs that were soliciting food from their owners,” says Celia Haddon, an author and cat behavioural expert.
“Sam Watson, the scientific officer at the UK’s animal charity the RSPCA, says there is still little understanding of how cats purr amongst each other in the wild, though it’s apparent that they will purr as they groom each other.”There could be one for ‘I want that’, another for ‘Let’s share resources’.
Petting a cat has long been seen as a form of stress relief – cat ownership could cut the risk of stroke or heart disease by as much one-third.
“The physiological benefits aside, we’ve always responded to purring’s psychological effects. It calms us and pleases us, like watching waves against a beach. We respond to a cat’s purr as a calming stimulus and may have even genetically selected cats with more propensity to purr.”
Ultimately, the quest to define the meaning of a purr may benefit from getting to know cats’ body language better – from the periscope tail of a friendly cat in sociable mood to the wide eyes and bent-back whiskers of a cat in fight mode.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How tech’s richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse”

Taking their cue from Elon Musk colonizing Mars, Peter Thiel reversing the ageing process, or Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion.
There’s nothing wrong with madly optimistic appraisals of how technology might benefit human society.
As technology philosophers have been pointing out for years, now, the transhumanist vision too easily reduces all of reality to data, concluding that “Humans are nothing but information-processing objects”.
The mining of rare earth metals and disposal of our highly digital technologies destroys human habitats, replacing them with toxic waste dumps, which are then picked over by peasant children and their families, who sell usable materials back to the manufacturers.
Just as the inefficiency of a local taxi market can be “Solved” with an app that bankrupts human drivers, the vexing inconsistencies of the human psyche can be corrected with a digital or genetic upgrade.
Ultimately, according to the technosolutionist orthodoxy, the human future climaxes by uploading our consciousness to a computer or, perhaps better, accepting that technology itself is our evolutionary successor.
Even Westworld – based on a science fiction novel in which robots run amok – ended its second season with the ultimate reveal: human beings are simpler and more predictable than the artificial intelligences we create.
The mental gymnastics required for such a profound role reversal between humans and machines all depend on the underlying assumption that humans suck.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Economists and Humanists Ever Be Friends?”

In my part of South London, a street that was once economically rather eclectic was becoming increasingly homogeneous, with new arrivals drawn entirely from finance and its ancillary professions.
Finance has ingenuity, expertise, and dazzling possibilities for earning and losing money, but none of these are quite the same thing as wisdom.
He regrets the chasm between finance and the rest of society, and he sets out to bridge it with a warmhearted and engaging set of stories in which he pairs fundamental principles of finance with parallel examples from the humanities.
“Viewing finance through the prism of the humanities will help us to restore humanity to finance,” he writes, making a claim very similar to that made in “Cents and Sensibility.”
Desai takes us on a journey through the fundamentals of finance, from asset pricing to risk and risk management, via options, mergers, debt, and bankruptcy.
Desai explores the intellectual crevasse between the money people and the rest of us in his final chapter, called, trenchantly, “Why Everyone Hates Finance.” One explanation is “The asshole theory of finance”: that finance isn’t inherently bad and neither are the people it attracts, but “Finance fuels ego and ambition in an unusually powerful way.” The underlying reason is that finance is full of “Attribution errors,” in which people view their successes as deserved and their failures as bad luck.
What’s more, he says, “The ‘discipline of the market’ shrouds all of finance in a meritocratic haze.” And so people who succeed in finance “Are susceptible to developing massively outsized egos and appetites.”
The gap between economics, finance, and the rest of society would be difficult to fix even if everyone wanted to do so, and it isn’t obvious that everyone does.

The orginal article.