Author Archives: headbirths

How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?

News articles and reports appear almost daily on the subject of how technological developments in Artificial Intelligence and robotics will cause dramatic changes to employment over the next few decades. (Artificial Intelligence includes techniques such as ‘machine learning’, ‘deep learning’, … Continue reading

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From Neural ‘Is’ to Moral ‘Ought’

This talk takes its inspiration from Joshua Greene’s ‘From neural ‘is’ to moral ‘ought’: what are the moral implications of neuroscientific moral psychology?’ He says: “Many moral philosophers regard scientific research as irrelevant to their work because science deals with … Continue reading

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Backpropagation

  The Fall of Artificial Neural Networks: XOR gates In the 1969 book ‘Perceptrons: an introduction to computational geometry’, Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert demonstrated that single-layer Artificial Neural Networks could not even implement an XOR (‘exclusive or’) logical function. This was a … Continue reading

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Firing and Wiring

Brains essentially are ‘just a bunch of neurons’  which are connected to one another by synapses. A neuron will ‘fire’ when there is enough activity (firing) on its synapses. The network learns by modifying the strengths of those synapses. When … Continue reading

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Fish, Chips and Ketchup

During his PhD years in Edinburgh, Geoffrey and his experimental psychology chums would often stop by the chippy after a night on the town. Geoffrey would queue up with his order of x1 pieces of fish, x2 lots of chips … Continue reading

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Consciousness and Zombies

  Common Sense Consciousness There are common-sense notions of what consciousness is about which tell us: We are consciousness when we are awake, We are not consciousness if we are asleep except when we are dreaming, People under anaesthetic are … Continue reading

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Brexit and the Brain

  On this blogsite up to now, I have touched on many of the sub-fields of philosophy – the philosophy of mind, consciousness, epistemology, philosophy of science and, most recently, ethics. The biggest sub-field not covered is politics. But then … Continue reading

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Some Good Reason

  This is the 19th part of the ‘Neural Is to Moral Ought’ series of posts. The series’s title comes from Joshua Greene’s opinion-piece paper ‘From Neural Is To Moral Ought: What are the moral implications of neuroscientific moral psychology?’ … Continue reading

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Getting Started on Deep Learning with Python

  An Introduction to Deep Learning In Karl Friston’s wonderfully entitled paper ‘The history of the future of the Bayesian brain’, he recalls his working with Geoffrey Hinton, how Hinton emphasized Bayesian formulations and generative models, and how Friston developed … Continue reading

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The Great and the Good

Why Do the Rich Have a Different Moral Calculus?   Albert Loeb The traditional system of justice rests on the foundation that the minds of individuals generally all have the same ability of choosing courses of action and hence they can … Continue reading

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