Author Archives: headbirths

The Shape of Politics

Many people have tried to create some conceptual space in order to map the positions of particular policies, particular persons or particular parties relative to others. The Line By far the most prevalent of these is the left-right axis. The … Continue reading

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New Processes at Work

Automation, Education and Work, Part 2 This is the second of three parts of the talk ‘Automation, Education and Employment’. In the ‘first part’: I considered how change is driven by both new technology and new processes as a result … Continue reading

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The New Technological Revolution

Automation, Education and Work, part 1 There is a proliferation of articles in the media about how the accelerating technology of artificial intelligence and robots will change the world of work radically in the next 30 years. “47% of current … Continue reading

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Model Housing for the Third Age

And now for something completely different. In a complete departure from neuroscience and philosophy, here’s something on architecture (social housing)…   The Need The UK housing market is broken. Politicians talk about creating more affordable housing to help first time … Continue reading

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Friston on Freud

An ambitious, speculative 2010 paper co-authored by Karl Friston attempts to tie together Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic descriptions of the ‘id’ and the ‘ego’ with modern neurobiological accounts of self-organized hierarchical cortical systems – such as Friston’s own ‘variational free energy’ … Continue reading

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People’s Capitalism

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. The stereotypical article will refer to Frey and Osborne’s claim … Continue reading

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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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