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Mission

The mission of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Discovery Institute is to explore the benefits as well as the challenges raised by artificial intelligence (AI) in light of the enduring truth of human exceptionalism. People know at a fundamental level that they are not machines. But faulty thinking can cause people to assent to views that in their heart of hearts they know to be untrue. The Bradley Center seeks to help individuals—and our society at large—to realize that we are not machines while at the same time helping to put machines (especially computers and AI) in proper perspective. Learn More

Walter Bradley

About Walter Bradley

Walter Bradley is my hero because the impact of his life will be celebrated in perpetuity. I want a heritage like that. But ironically such a goal cannot be achieved by making it a goal. ⋮ Read More …

Articles & Podcasts

How Scientists Have Learned To Work With the Quantum World

It’s still pretty weird, though
In last week’s podcast, “Enrique Blair on quantum computing,” Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks talks with fellow computer engineer Enrique Blair about why quantum mechanics is so strange. But scientists have learned to work with QM, despite many questions, like how to work with particles that can be in two different places (quantum superposition): https://episodes.castos.com/mindmatters/Mind-Matters-110-Enrique-Blair.mp3 [Starts at approximately 13:16.] The Show Notes and transcript follow. Excerpts from the transcript: Robert J. Marks: What’s superposition? What’s going on there? Enrique Blair: Quantum superposition is really a mathematical description. We use wave functions to describe these particles. There’s a wave function for the photon going through Slit One and a wave function for the photon going through Slit Two. To…

Does the Slow Pace of Evolution Mean That ET Life Is Rare?

That’s the contention in a recent paper by astrobiologists at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute
In a new paper, researchers affiliated with Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute use the assumptions we make about the evolution of life on Earth to estimate the likelihood of it happening the same way elsewhere. And the numbers do not look good. As a science writer puts it: There are countless naturally occurring, but extremely lucky ways in which Earth is special, sheltered, protected, and encouraged to have evolved life. And some key moments of emerging life seem much more likely than others, based on what really did happen. Caroline Delbert, “Intelligent Life Really Can’t Exist Anywhere Else” at Popular Mechanics In the paper, the Oxford group concludes, It took approximately 4.5 billion years for a series of evolutionary transitions…

New Sky Catalog Reveals Most Likely Sites for Alien Technology

“Exotica” lists phenomena for which conventional natural explanations don’t seem to work well
We’ve been looking at reasons why we don’t see extraterrestrials, even though many scientists are sure they must exist. One enterprising research group has now assembled Exotica, a catalog of strange phenomena in space, which might help us search more efficiently. If extraterrestrials exist and are technologically advanced, they would leave a “technosignature,” which might at first only be seen as astrange phenomenon in space: Breakthrough Listen, the initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, today released an innovative catalog of “Exotica”—a diverse list of objects of potential interest to astronomers searching for technosignatures (indicators of technology developed by extraterrestrial intelligence). The catalog is a collection of over 700 distinct targets intended to include “one of everything”…

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Bingecast: Enrique Blair on Quantum Computing

What is quantum mechanics? What can quantum computers do that classical computers can’t? Has Google achieved quantum supremacy? Robert J. Marks discusses the weird world of quantum mechanics with Dr. Enrique Blair. Show Notes 00:54 | Introducing Dr. Enrique Blair, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Baylor University 03:08 | The history of quantum mechanics 13:16 | Quantum…

Robert J. Marks on Killer Robots

Robert J. Marks discusses AI and the military, autonomous weapons, and his book The Case for Killer Robots with hosts Robert D. Atkinson and Jackie Whisman from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Dr. Marks’ book The Case for Killer Robots is available at Amazon.com in print, audio and Kindle formats. For a limited time, the Bradley Center is…

George Gilder on Blockchain and Carbon Computing

George Gilder and Robert J. Marks discuss blockchain, Bitcoin, quantum and carbon computing, and George Gilder’s new book Gaming AI: Why AI Can’t Think but Can Transform Jobs (which you can get for free here). Show Notes 00:26 | Introducing George Gilder 01:00 | Blockchain 07:57 | Facial recognition 10:30 | Bitcoin 15:04 | Quantum computing 18:16 | Carbon computing…

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