Critical lenses on ‘AI’

Here I collect a selected set of critical lenses on so-called1 'AI', including the recently hyped ChatGPT. I hope these resources are useful for others as well, and help make insightful why we need to remain vigilant and resist the AI hype. I expect to be updating this blog as time passes. If you have [...]

Against automated plagiarism

I've been asked, in various roles1, to give my opinion on the challenges posed by Large Language Models (LLMs)2, also known as "stochastic parrots" (Bender, Gebru, McMillan-Major, & Shmitchell, 2021), for assessing academic writing assignments. A concern seems to be that students legitimately can use these systems and that then we would be unable to [...]

What makes a good theory?

June 20-24, 2022, the Lorentz Workshop "What makes a good theory? Interdisciplinary perspectives" (organised by Berna Devezer, Joshua Skewes, Sashank Varma, Todd Wareham, and myself) took place. In total some 45 participants came together in a hybrid venue, on-site at the Lorentz Center and online in Participants came from a large variety of disciplines, [...]

Sampling cannot make hard work light

Robert Long recently wrote a blog: Five ways the mind does not solve computationally intractable problems (and one way it does). It summarises a paper that I co-wrote. To be frank, I was a bit jealous of the clarity and conciseness with which Robert laid out the main arguments (it took us 20 pages!). I recommend reading Robert's blog [...]

Can a brain think a finite or infinite number of thoughts?

A few weeks ago, my son Ilaij asked me to post the following poll to twitter: Part of the story was covered by Vox. But several people asked about Ilaij's own answer and motivations. He really wants to share his thoughts, so I decided to write this blog. Let me start with a recap of [...]

Combinatorial trolley problem

Trolley problems are commonly used as thought experiments in philosophy of ethics. One can regularly see new variants come by on Twitter: some are just poking fun, others are bringing the ethical dilemma to new levels of complexity. Recently, the variant below caught my eye. This combinatorial trolley problem seemed interesting from a computational complexity [...]

Water lilies

I posted this imaginary scenario and poll on Twitter. The scenario was inspired by a classic problem used in psychological research on insight problem solving. Here is the classic version of the problem:1 Water lilies double in area every 24 h. At the beginning of summer there is one water lily on the [...]

New Homepage

I decided to dust off my old homepage and to create this new one: The WordPress platform also affords posting blogs. I'm writing this 1st post with the intention to follow up on it with real content in the future. For now, feel free to browse the site to find out more about my [...]