Issue #3

Today – Mario, aliens, thinkers, cyborgs, journalist and something for dogs.


You might stumble upon it in last week. SethBling created a neural network which was learning how to master Mario using some concepts borrowed from genetic programming and then he explained the algorithm. He also made a follow-up video showing how MarI/O was doing with other games.

MarI/O reminded me about a paper called The First Level of Super Mario Bros. is Easy with Lexicographic Orderings and Time Travel . . . after that it gets a little tricky by Dr Tom Murphy. Both guys did basically the same thing – they made a bot mastering Mario using genetic programming. Dr Murphy also found that his bot was using glitches to beat the level in the most efficient way.

I encourage you to read this paper. It is hilarious. If you don’t have time to read the whole paper, find the section in which Dr Murphy lets his bot play other games and read the Tetris story. It will blow your mind.

Artificial Intelligence as Alien Intelligence

Interesting concept with some serious consequences. We tend to look for humanlike intelligence or Earth-like life in space, because that’s the only intelligence/life form we know. But no one said that’s the only intelligence/life possible. It’s possible that our first contact with alien intelligence might be with our own creation – the artificial intelligence.

David Eagleman: Can we create new senses for humans?

David Eagleman has a very ambitious idea. He wants to expand our umwelt. “What is umwelt?”, you might ask. Umwelt is a part of the world which is available to our senses. So, David Eagleman wants to expand our senses. He wants us to be able to see in infrared, to hear ultrasounds, to feel the overall mood of the people on twitter, and so on.

Is it a first step in human augmentation?

Probably yes.

Ray Kurzweil: Humans will be hybrids by 2030

Ray Kurzweil throws another bold prediction. He said that my 2030 humans will be hybrids or cyborgs. We will have our brains connected to the internet or some kind of future cloud via nanobots in our brains.

What do you think – is this going to happen? Or Kurzweil’s bold prediction is just a wish which will not come true?

An NPR Reporter Raced A Machine To Write A News Story. Who Won?

Yet another group of people faces the threat of being replaced by machines.

Automated Insights created a program called WordSmith that generates simple news stories based on things like sporting events and financial news. NPR decided to test who would be better – a human journalist or a machine? Check both stories and decide whose story was better.

The Thinkers Behind Musk and Gate’s Fear: Russell, Bostrom, and Omohundro

Turing Test for dogs

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