Wednesday, November 30, 2016

True Artificial Intelligence Will Arrive Suddenly and Will Stun the World


In this article, I argue that true artificial intelligence, aka artificial general intelligence or AGI, may arrive on the world scene within the next ten/fifteen years or even sooner. It will not be a gradual process. It will arrive suddenly and take the world completely by surprise.

True AI Will Not Come from the Mainstream AI Community

When I say that the arrival of true AI will take the world by surprise, what I mean is that it will come from an unexpected place. Don't wait for the mainstream AI community to figure out intelligence. That will not happen. Knowing what I know about the brain and intelligence, there is no doubt in my mind that mainstream AI scientists are completely clueless as to how to even approach the problem. They are clueless because over 99 % of AI research money currently goes into funding deep learning, which is, as I have explained elsewhere, a hindrance to progress toward true AI. The most important ingredient in intelligence is time. And yet, amazingly, time is a mere afterthought in AI research, especially deep learning.

There are a handful of AI researchers who do understand the crucial importance of time to intelligence but, as I explained in my previous article, they are handicapped by their continued adherence to a representational approach to intelligence. In other words, in spite of all the hype, they are still doing symbolic AI or GOFAI. Please read, The World Is its Own Model or Why Hubert Dreyfus Is Still Right About AI for more on this topic.

Another obvious reason that the mainstream AI community is clueless is that they believe that the brain is performing some kind of massive parallel computation on sensory inputs. They assume that the brain continually generates an internal model of the world using statistical calculations on its input signals. The problem with this view is that neurons are way too slow for this kind of signal processing. The surprising truth is that the brain does not compute anything when it perceives the world. The brain assumes that the world is deterministic and does its own computations. It learns how the world behaves and expects that this behavior is perfect and will not deviate. The mechanism is akin to an automatic coin sorting machine whereby the machine assumes that the different sizes of the coins automatically determine which slots they belong to.

True AI Will Arrive Suddenly

A truly intelligent system, such as the human brain, consists of multiple, highly integrated modules. What I mean is that every module that comprises an intelligent system has a specific function, organization and operation that complement the other modules. No single module can function in isolation. It is not possible to solve one aspect of intelligence without also solving all the other aspects. In other words, one cannot understand sensory perception without also understanding motor behavior, and vice versa. There will be no evolution during which advances are made a little at a time while machines become gradually more intelligent over the years until a time is reached when they achieve human-like intelligence. True AI will appear suddenly.

The Secret of True AI Will Come from a Completely Unexpected Source

The most surprising thing about the arrival of true AI on the world scene will not be that it is finally here (although that will certainly make the front pages) but where it came from. I am not going to say too much about this other than the following. True AI is so counterintuitive that it would take us (humanity) hundreds, if not thousands of years to figure it out on our own. Fortunately for us, there is an ancient source of scientific knowledge about the brain and intelligence that the world has chosen to ignore. I have worked for more than a decade to decipher and understand this knowledge and I have made great progress. But whether or not I publish my work is not up to me. The only caveat here is that I am a known internet nut. Stay tuned.

The World Is its Own Model or Why Hubert Dreyfus Is Still Right About AI
Why Deep Learning Is a Hindrance to Progress Toward True AI
In Spite of the Successes, Mainstream AI is Still Stuck in a Rut

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The World Is its Own Model or Why Hubert Dreyfus Is Still Right About AI

In Memoriam: Professor Hubert Dreyfus (1929 - 2017)


In this article, I argue that mainstream artificial intelligence is about to enter a new AI winter because, in spite of claims to the contrary, they are still using a representational approach to intelligence, aka symbolic AI or GOFAI. This is a criticism that Hubert Dreyfus has been making for half a century to no avail. I further argue that the best way to get rid of the representationalist baggage is to abandon the observer-centric approach to understanding intelligence and adopt a brain-centric approach. On this basis, I conclude that timing is the key to unlocking the secrets of intelligence.

The World Is its Own Model

Hubert Dreyfus is a Professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Dreyfus has been the foremost critic of artificial intelligence research (What Computers Still Can't Do) since its early days. The AI community hates him for it. Here we are, many decades later, and Dreyfus is still right. Drawing from the work of famed German philosopher, Martin Heidegger and the French existentialist philosopher, Merleau-Ponty, Dreyfus's argument has not changed after all those years. Using Heidegger as a starting point, he argues that the brain does not create internal representations of objects in the world. The brain simply learns how to see the world directly, something that Heidegger referred to as presence-at-hand and readiness-to-hand. Dreyfus gave a great example of this in his paper Why Heideggerian AI Failed and how fixing it would require making it more Heideggerian (pdf). He explained how roboticist Rodney Brooks solved the frame problem by moving away from the traditional but slow model-based approach to a non-representational one:
The year of my talk, Rodney Brooks, who had moved from Stanford to MIT, published a paper criticizing the GOFAI robots that used representations of the world and problem solving techniques to plan their movements. He reported that, based on the idea that “the best model of the world is the world itself,” he had “developed a different approach in which a mobile robot uses the world itself as its own representation – continually referring to its sensors rather than to an internal world model.” Looking back at the frame problem, he writes:
And why could my simulated robot handle it? Because it was using the world as its own model. It never referred to an internal description of the world that would quickly get out of date if anything in the real world moved.
Deep Learning's GOFAI Problem

By and large, the mainstream AI community continues to ignore Dreyfus and his favorite philosophers. Indeed, they ignore everyone else including psychologists and neurobiologists who are more than qualified to know a thing or two about intelligence and the brain. AI's biggest success, deep learning, is just GOFAI redux. A deep neural network is actually a rule-based expert system. AI programmers just found a way (gradient descent, fast computers and lots of labeled or pre-categorized data) to create the rules automatically. The rules are in the form, if A then B, where A is a pattern and B a label or symbol representing a category.

The problem with expert systems is that they are brittle. Presented with a situation for which there is no rule, they fail catastrophically. This is what happened back in May to one of Tesla Motors's cars while on autopilot. The neural network failed to recognize a situation and caused a fatal accident. This is not to say that deep neural nets are bad per se. They are excellent in controlled environments, such as the factory floor, where all possible conditions are known in advance and humans are kept at a safe distance. But letting them loose in the real world is asking for trouble.

As I explain below, the AI community will never solve these problems until they abandon their GOFAI roots and their love affair with representations.

The Powerful Illusion of Representations

The hardest thing for AI experts to grasp is that the brain does not model the world. They have all sorts of arguments to justify their claim that the brain creates representations of objects in the world. They point out that MRI scans can pinpoint areas in the brain that light up when a subject is thinking about a word or a specific object. They argue that imagination and dreams are proof that the brain creates representations. These are powerful arguments and, in hindsight, one cannot fault the AI community too much for believing in the illusion of representations. But then again, it is not as if knowledgeable thinkers, such as Hubert Dreyfus, have not pointed out the fallacy of their approach. Unfortunately, mainstream AI is allergic to criticism.

Why the Brain Does Not Model the World

There are many reasons. I'll just list a few as follows.
  • The brain has to continually sense the world in real time in order to interact with it. The perceptions only last a short time and are mostly forgotten afterwards. If the brain had a stored (long-term) model of the world, it would only need to update the model occasionally. There are not enough neurons in the brain to store a model of the world. Besides, the brain's neurons are too slow to engage in any complex computations that an internal model would require.
  • It takes the brain a long time (years) to build a universal sensory framework that can instantly perceive an arbitrary pattern. However, when presented with a new pattern (which is almost all the time since we rarely see the same exact thing more than once), the cortex instantly accommodates existing memory structures to see the new pattern. No new structures are learned. A neural network, by contrast, must be trained with many samples of the new pattern. It follows that the brain does not learn to create models of objects in the world. Rather it learns how to sense the world by figuring out how the world works.
  • The brain should be understood as a complex sensory organ. Saying that the brain models the world is like saying that a sensor models what it senses. The brain builds a huge collection of specialized sensors that sense all sorts of phenomena in the world. The sensors are organized hierarchically. They are just sensors (detectors) that respond directly to specific sensory phenomena in the world. For example, we may have a high level sensor that fires when grandma comes into view but it is not a model of grandma. Our brain cannot model anything outside of it because our eyes do not see grandma. They just sense changes in illumination. To model something, one must have access to both a subject and an object. An artist can model something by looking at both the subject and the painting. The brain must sense things directly. It only has the signals from its senses to work with.
To Understand the Brain, Be the Brain

The most crippling mistake that most AI researchers make is that they try to understand intelligence from the point of view of an outside observer. Rather, they should try to understand it from the point of view of the intelligence itself. They need to adopt a brain-centric approach to AI as opposed to an observer-centric approach. They should ask themselves, what does the brain have to work with? How can the brain create a model of something that it cannot see until it learns how to see it?

Once we put ourselves in the brain's shoes, so to speak, representations no longer exist because they make no sense. They simply disappear.

Timing is the Key to Unsupervised Learning

The reason that people like Yann LeCun, Quoc Le and others in the machine learning community are having such a hard time with unsupervised learning (the kind of learning that people do) is that they do not try to "see" what the brain sees. The cortex only has discrete sensory spikes to work with. It does not know or care where they come from. It just has to make sense of the spikes by figuring out how they are ordered. Here is the clincher. The only order that can be found in multiple sensory streams of discrete signals is temporal order: they are either concurrent or sequential. Timing is thus the key to unsupervised learning and everything else in intelligence.

One only has to take a look at the center-surround design of the human retina to realize that the brain is primarily a complex timing mechanism. It may come as a surprise to some that we cannot see anything unless there is motion in the visual field. This is the reason that the human eye is continually moving in tiny movements called microsaccades. Movements in the visual field generate precisely timed spikes that depend on the direction and speed of the movements. The way the brain sees is completely different from the way computer vision systems work. They are not even close.

New AI Winter in the Making

Discrete signal timing should be the main focus of AI research, in my opinion. It is very precise in the brain, on the order of milliseconds. This is something that neurobiologists and psychologists have known about for decades. But the AI community thinks they know better. They don't. They are lost in a lost world of their own making. Is it any wonder that their field goes from one AI winter to the next? Artificial intelligence research is entering a new winter as I write but most AI researchers are not aware of it.

See Also

People Ask Me, What Do You Have Against Deep Learning?
Mark Zuckerberg Understands the Problem with DeepMind's Brand of AI
Why Deep Learning Is a Hindrance to Progress Toward True AI
In Spite of the Successes, Mainstream AI is Still Stuck in a Rut

Monday, July 4, 2016

Why We Have a Supernatural Soul


In this article, I argue that we consciously experience something that is provably nonexistent in the physical or material universe. Therefore, it can only be the result of a non-material entity.

From Neuronal Pulses to the Illusion of Distance

To deny the existence of an immaterial or supernatural soul is to stop believing one's own eyes. The amazing colorful 3D vista we think we see in front of our eyes is entirely supernatural. Why? Because there is no 3D vista in our visual cortex or anywhere else. Our visual cortex and our entire brain are just a bunch of firing neurons. Space and distance are not functions or properties of neuronal pulses. Every pulse is pretty much identical to another. The only thing that matters in the brain, as far as intelligence is concerned, is the temporal relationships between the pulses. They are either concurrent or sequential.

We certainly do not sense biochemicals and electric pulses flowing through our axons, synapses and dendrites. We see a fabulous, dynamic model of the world in glorious 3D. Something must have translated those neuronal firings into a colorful 3D vista. Call it spirit, soul or whatever. But it certainly exists and it is not material, a billion materialists claiming otherwise notwithstanding.

Why (Space) Distance Is an Illusion of the Soul/Spirit

It can be logically shown that space (distance) does not exist at all. It is an illusion, i.e., a creation of the mind. I posted an article on this topic back in 2010. Let me just repeat the main argument below. The reason that space/distance is an illusion is that the existence of space leads to an infinite regress. Over the years, I have found that almost everything that is fundamentally wrong with classical physics has to do with infinite regress. Note that physical space is defined as a collection of positions existing apart from particles. The idea is that, in order for any physical entity or property to exist, it must exist at a specific position in space. But if a position is a physical entity that exists, it too, must exist at a specific position. In other words, if space exists, where is it? One can posit a meta-space for space, and a meta-meta-space for the meta-space, but this quickly turns into an infinite regress. The only possible conclusion is that there is no such thing as space. It is an illusion of perception.

The Society of the Soul

Again, we must ask the essential question. If space/distance does not exist, why do we see and consciously experience a 3D vista? Where does it come from? The answer should be obvious. Since it comes from neither the brain nor the external physical universe, it must come from some other realm, a parallel but complementary realm. It must be a non-physical phenomenon. This is undeniable.

I hypothesize that every soul/spirit consists of a huge number of individual parts (call them qualia, if you wish), each one of which is distinct from the other but each belonging to a single entity, the soul. The function of a quale is to give a unique meaning to the neuronal pulse it is associated with in order to distinguish it from another. In other words, there is a unique quale for every conscious pulse event in the cortex. The illusion of space is a manifestation of a subassembly of "positional" qualia. The soul is thus a society of qualia.

Conscious versus Unconscious Neurons

But what about the cerebellum which is completely unconscious while being very active during waking hours? The cerebellum is a parallel brain, a pure automaton. It is a supervised, sensorimotor behaving machine that handles routine tasks for us (e.g., walking, balancing or maintaining posture) while the conscious cortex is busy thinking about other things. Why is it unconscious? Obviously, as an automaton, it does not have to be. Its function is not to pay attention to anything in particular but to make it possible for the brain to focus on more important matters. Without it, we would not be able to walk and speak or even think at the same time.

In my opinion, future neurological studies will reveal the existence of a fundamental physicochemical difference between the working of cortical neurons and of cerebellar neurons. There is something qualitatively special about the physiology of some (not all) cortical neurons that makes it possible for the qualia to interface with them. I am also willing to bet that future experimental research will show that this special property is missing in animals. Only human cortices have them.

See Also

Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion
The World Is its Own Model or Why Hubert Dreyfus Is Still Right About AI
Occult Physics Will Blow Your Mind

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Case Against Superintelligence

Limited Attention Span

The superintelligent machine is a flawed concept, in my opinion. It is based on the assumption that the IQ of a single intelligent system can increase indefinitely. There are two problems with it. First, an intelligent system can only focus on one thing at a time. This imposes a severe limitation on the learning capability of the system. While it is possible to increase the learning speed of a machine by feeding it high speed data such as videos, learning to interact with the real world will still have to be done in real time.

The Tree of Knowledge

Second, knowledge is necessarily organized hierarchically in memory. This means that there are many branches in the tree of knowledge. This is the only way to store a huge amount of information in a limited space and to organize it in a way that makes it readily accessible within a context. This is important because it allows the system to infer analogies, an essential characteristic of intelligence. In other words, items that share a branch belong to the same category and the activation of a low level item brings up all the other related items (one thought brings up other thoughts). It is up to the attention mechanism to scan these family relations and pick one to focus on.

The Superintelligent Society

The problem is that a superintelligence would have vast numbers of awakened relations (branches) to pick from. It would take an inordinate length of time to do so. This is why it is best to specialize in an area of knowledge and rely on the expertise of others. This is what humans do. In a sense, humanity is already a superintelligent system consisting of millions of interacting individuals specialising in various areas of knowledge. The system, as a whole, is much more intelligent than any individual can ever be. The internet has accelerated communication between individuals making our global superintelligence even more efficient.

So I don't see a future dominated by a single or a few superintelligent machines but one in which many highly specialized artificial intelligences form a superintelligent society.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why Steven Carlip Is Mistaken about the Speed of Gravity or Why LIGO Is Still a Scam


This is a continuation of my previous post, Why LIGO Is a Scam. Steven Carlip is a quantum gravity physicist and a proponent of Einstein's theory of general relativity (GR). He is the author of a famous 1999 paper that purportedly explains how GR gets around the problem of the finite speed of gravity. In this article, I argue that Carlip's explanation is flawed because the GR model is self-contradictory. I further argue that Carlip is equally wrong about the speed of the electric field and that, as a result of his wrong assumptions, he failed to notice some extraordinary physics. I will base my argument on this explanation by Carlip directed at the layperson: Does Gravity Travel at the Speed of Light?

Carlip Is Wrong About the Symmetry of the Gravitational Field

To his credit, Carlip acknowledges that the speed of gravity has never been measured because, according to him, "such an experiment is beyond current technological capabilities." It is a concession that the hypothesis that he defends is not supported by observation. That clearly places the relativist hypothesis of the speed of gravity in the realm of pseudoscience. But I'll explain in a minute why it is not true that the experiment is beyond current technological capabilities. Carlip then succinctly and precisely describes the problem:
In the simple newtonian model, gravity propagates instantaneously: the force exerted by a massive object points directly toward that object's present position. For example, even though the Sun is 500 light seconds from the Earth, newtonian gravity describes a force on Earth directed towards the Sun's position "now," not its position 500 seconds ago. Putting a "light travel delay" (technically called "retardation") into newtonian gravity would make orbits unstable, leading to predictions that clearly contradict Solar System observations.
I should first point out that the Newtonian model says nothing about the "propagation" of gravity. There is no propagation because it assumes that gravity is instantaneous. This being said, even though he does not realize it, Carlip's own understanding of Newtonian physics proves that changes in gravity are felt instantly everywhere. This is because Newton made another equally crucial assumption. He assumed that gravity is perfectly symmetrical or spherical around a homogeneous gravitational source. This is given by the inverse square law and this is what is observed. Ironically, GR makes the same assumption (inverse square law) even though a finite speed of gravity would break the assumed symmetry if the gravitational source is moving. The GR model is thus self-contradictory.

Think about it. This is not complicated logic for propellerheads. If gravity propagated at the speed of light, the gravitational field would be flattened in front of the moving body and elongated in the rear. This is not observed. So the fact that the gravitational field is consistent with a symmetrical expectation given by the inverse square law and with an assumption of nonlocality (i.e., instantaneous action at a distance), it is logical to conclude that the "speed of gravity" has in fact already been measured and that there is no propagation to speak of. Carlip stumbles right out of the gate but he does not notice.

Carlip Is Wrong About Relative Motion

The above argument fully falsifies Carlip's position and there is really no need to go further. But Carlip continues unphased. He writes (emphasis added):
In general relativity, on the other hand, gravity propagates at the speed of light; that is, the motion of a massive object creates a distortion in the curvature of spacetime that moves outward at light speed. This might seem to contradict the Solar System observations described above, but remember that general relativity is conceptually very different from newtonian gravity, so a direct comparison is not so simple. Strictly speaking, gravity is not a "force" in general relativity, and a description in terms of speed and direction can be tricky. For weak fields, though, one can describe the theory in a sort of newtonian language. In that case, one finds that the "force" in GR is not quite central—it does not point directly towards the source of the gravitational field—and that it depends on velocity as well as position. The net result is that the effect of propagation delay is almost exactly cancelled, and general relativity very nearly reproduces the newtonian result.
Carlip's key argument here is in the last two sentences in the above paragraph. It has to do with velocity and position. He is arguing that, by some unexplained magic, information about the velocity and position of a massive body, such as the sun or a planet is transmitted to other bodies. This way a receiving body can, by some other unexplained magic, extrapolate the actual position of the emitting body and react accordingly.

The problem, as I explained in my previous post, is that GR only allows relative position and motion. A body cannot transmit information about its position and motion because it has no way of knowing what they are according to the theory. Since absolute motion and position are forbidden, the body would have to know its instantaneous velocity relative to every other body in the universe. This would require instant communication between it and the other bodies. This, too, is forbidden by the theory. Carlip is stuck between a rock and a hard place. His argument is now fully lodged in the crackpottery sphere.

Carlip Is Wrong About the Speed of the Electric Field

It gets better. Carlip goes on to use an analogy that reveals revolutionary new physics (assuming, of course, that one has an open mind and is not in the habit of kissing ass) but, unfortunately for Carlip and the rest of the world, the whole thing flies right past him unaware. He writes (emphasis added):
This cancellation may seem less strange if one notes that a similar effect occurs in electromagnetism. If a charged particle is moving at a constant velocity, it exerts a force that points toward its present position, not its retarded position, even though electromagnetic interactions certainly move at the speed of light. Here, as in general relativity, subtleties in the nature of the interaction "conspire" to disguise the effect of propagation delay. It should be emphasized that in both electromagnetism and general relativity, this effect is not put in ad hoc but comes out of the equations. Also, the cancellation is nearly exact only for constant velocities. If a charged particle or a gravitating mass suddenly accelerates, the change in the electric or gravitational field propagates outward at the speed of light.
Of course, Carlip's argument about the speed of the electric field fails for the same reasons that his argument about the speed of gravity fails. But it is amazing how a false assumption can color one's judgement. Carlip (and the entire mainstream physics community) is so bent on proving that information can only travel at the speed of light (Einstein's local universe), he fails to realize that his chosen example actually proves the opposite of the position he is defending. It reveals something about the electrostatic field that has been right under their noses for over a century. They cannot see it because they got their Einstein blinders on.

What Carlip does not realize is that his argument actually shows that the electric field is instantaneous, just like gravity. His claim that "electromagnetic interactions" move at the speed of light is only partially true. Only magnetic radiation moves at the speed of light. Changes in the electric field of a charged particle are obviously felt instantaneously everywhere. If it were not so, the electric field of a moving electron would be lopsided resulting in a lopsided or non-symmetrical universe. A purely symmetrical field is what is observed and this is why the electric field of a moving charged particle moves precisely with the particle. There is no delay due to propagation. Carlip's interpretation is bogus. (Christian and Jewish readers only: see special note at the end for a surprising take on this.)

Carlip Is Wrong About Binary Pulsars

Carlip then brings binary pulsars to the rescue, a sign of a weak argument, if you ask me. He writes:
While current observations do not yet provide a direct model-independent measurement of the speed of gravity, a test within the framework of general relativity can be made by observing the binary pulsar PSR 1913+16. The orbit of this binary system is gradually decaying, and this behavior is attributed to the loss of energy due to escaping gravitational radiation. But in any field theory, radiation is intimately related to the finite velocity of field propagation, and the orbital changes due to gravitational radiation can equivalently be viewed as damping caused by the finite propagation speed. (In the discussion above, this damping represents a failure of the "retardation" and "noncentral, velocity-dependent" effects to completely cancel.)
At this point, is anybody stupid enough to take anything that comes out of Steven Carlip's mouth or anybody else in the physics community at face value? Remember that these are people who see nothing wrong with using the word "virtual" like a magic incantation to instantly poof away violations in the conservation of energy that break their model. Notice how Carlip talks about being "within the framework of general relativity." In other words, the theory is assumed to be correct a priori. So every observed phenomenon must be explained within the framework of the theory. This is not science, of course. It is religion.

So, if the orbit of a binary pulsar system is decaying, in their minds, it can only be because GR predicted it. Does GR explain what causes gravity? Of course not. But, in spite of this glaring ignorance, they are certain that the decaying orbit is only possible because gravity propagates at c. I can think of a simple and mundane reason that the orbit is decaying. It is more than likely because of friction caused by collisions with other matter (such as an atmosphere) present in the system. I simply cannot accept Carlip's explanation because it is so ridiculously wrong in ways that I have already mentioned.

LIGO is Still a Scam

As I wrote previously, since gravity is undeniably instantaneous and gravitational waves are based on the hypothesis that changes in gravity propagate at c, there can be no doubt that the LIGO project is a scam. Why do I say a scam and not just a mistake? First of all, the intensity of the propaganda effort expended on convincing the public of the importance of the research is unprecedented. The inconvenient truth is that LIGO has exactly zero benefits for the public at large. Zilch. Second, this is probably the first time that the scientific community has come out and made an announcement about a major scientific discovery without corroboration by independent researchers conducting independent experiments. Third, it is very easy to fake a discovery because the LIGO system is designed so that fake signals that are indistinguishable from expected signals can be injected into the system at the push of a button. Supposedly, this is so that the system and the physicists attending to the experiment can be tested. The fake signals are so convincing that the LIGO team once completely fell for it. A paper was written and ready for publication before the fakery was revealed at the last minute. How easy would it be to fake other signals, you ask? Very easy. New Scientist wrote an interesting article about this in February. Here's a quote:
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made history last week when it announced the first direct discovery of the ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago. But the LIGO team is infamous for testing its system by inserting fake signals that are only revealed to be false at the last minute.
But even in the event that some signal was genuinely detected, it would not prove that changes in gravity travel at c. That would be circular reasoning. A proof (and even Carlip would agree) would require the simultaneous detection of an electromagnetic signal, such as gamma rays, emitted by the same source. So far, at least two gravitational wave signals have been "detected" but, strangely, none were accompanied by an EM signal. Strange indeed. It may be easy to fake gravitational waves but faking EM waves is a different ball game altogether. I predict that the whole thing will come back and bite the physics community in the ass and destroy any trust that the public had in the scientific enterprise.

The Physics Community Can Kiss My Ass

My detractors will undoubtedly ask, what makes you think you are smarter than the entire physics community? My answer is that I am not smarter at all. I just got more gonads than they do. I have said this before. Unlike most physicists, I am not an ass kisser and the physics community does not put food on my table. And even if they did, I would still tell them to kiss my ass. Besides, I am a rebel at heart. This world is so full of lies, I accept almost nothing from anybody at face value.

Physicists are wrong about gravity. They are wrong about time. They are wrong about space. They are wrong about motion. They are wrong about the Big Bang, black holes and wormholes. They are wrong about dark energy and dark matter. They are wrong about quantum superposition. They are wrong about so many things, it boggles the mind that they can maintain any kind of sanity or dignity. I have written about many of these things before. Click on the links below if you are interested.

See Also

Aberration and the Speed of Gravity (Carlip)
Relativity Implicitly Assumes Instant Communication at a Distance While Explicitly Forbidding It. Not Even Wrong
Does Gravity Travel at the Speed of Light? (Carlip)
Why LIGO Is a Scam
Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion
There Is Only One Speed in the Universe, the Speed of Light. Nothing Can Move Faster or Slower
How to Falsify Einstein's Physics, For Dummies
How Einstein Shot Physics in the Foot
Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime Physics
Why Einstein's Physics Is Crap
Physicists Don't Know Shit
Nothing Can Move in Spacetime
Physics: The Problem with Motion
Why Gravitational Waves Are Nonsense
Physics: The Surprisingly Simple Reason that the Speed of Light Is the Fastest Possible Speed and that Particle Decay Is Probabilistic

Special Note. This is only for the benefit of Christian and Jewish readers. The electric field and the electron were described metaphorically by Ezekiel thousands of years ago. Ezekiel used the metaphor of a wheel within a wheel that moves in unison with four living creatures. The electron is represented by four creatures because it is a composite particle consisting of four sub-particles each having a quarter charge. Surprise! Physicists are aware of the quarter-charge composite nature of the electron but since it does not fit the Standard Model of particle physics according to which the electron is elementary, they have taken to calling the sub-electronic particles, "quasi-particles". Physics via labelling is an age-old, shameless practice in the physics community. More on this in a future post.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why LIGO Is a Scam

New: Why Steven Carlip Is Mistaken about the Speed of Gravity or Why LIGO Is Still a Scam


In this article, I argue that the billion-dollar LIGO project that recently claimed to have detected gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes located more than a billion light years from earth is nothing but a scam to defraud the public. I argue that gravitational waves cannot exist because they are based on the false assumption that changes in gravity propagate at the speed of light. I further argue that the spacetime model is wrong because it is a block universe in which nothing happens and that gravity is a nonlocal or instantaneous phenomenon related to the law of the conservation of energy.

Stable Planetary Orbits or Newton Was Right

In spite of the incessant propaganda over the last century from the general relativity camp, gravity is an instantaneous or nonlocal phenomenon, just as Isaac Newton assumed. If changes in gravity traveled at the speed of light, as relativists claim, Newtonian gravity equations would not work at all and all planetary orbits would become unstable. There would be no planetary systems orbiting stars and there would be no galaxies. The reason is that it would take more than eight minutes for changes (caused by its motion around the Milky Way galaxy) in the sun's gravity to reach the earth and even longer for the more distant planets. So the earth's orbit around the sun would depend on where the sun was eight minutes ago, the time it takes changes in the gravitational field to reach the earth, and not on where it is now. This is not observed. As it is, Newtonian gravity is extremely accurate in predicting the orbits and positions of the planets. Minor effects that Newton could not have known about, such as clock slowing, are negligible. This is a fact. (see LaPlace calculation of the speed of gravity.)

Conservation of Symmetry

There is another reason, equally damning, that gravity must be instantaneous. It has to do with symmetry. Symmetry is an inherent part of the way the universe works. The conservation of symmetry is as much a law of nature as the conservation of momentum or energy. Geometry would not work without it. Conservation laws are nonlocal, meaning that they act over any distance, as if distance did not exist.

In spite of all the relativist claims regarding spacetime curvature (more on this later), gravity is undeniably caused by an energy deficit due to local violations in the conservation of energy. The deficit occurs when many particles (both massive and massless) exist at a particular location.

I have a hypothesis as to why the deficit happens but suffice it to say, for now, that it is the reason that clocks slow down in the presence of gravity. Regardless of the cause of the deficit, nature tries to eliminate it by moving energy, in the form of both massive and massless particles, toward the location of the deficit. Of course, it can never eliminate it because adding more matter results in even more violations.

The law of symmetry dictates that the shape of the gravitational field must be symmetrical around the source of the deficit, i.e., as perfectly spherical as possible. By analogy, the shape of the electric field around an electron must also be symmetrical. Otherwise, there would be a violation of symmetry. But if changes in the gravitational field propagated at c, as the physics community claims, it would create a non-symmetrical field around the source as it moves. This would be in violation of the conservation of symmetry, which is not allowed. Hence physicists are either wrong or lying about gravity.

Einstein's Block Universe in which Nothing Happens

Relativists claim that gravity is the curvature of spacetime caused by massive bodies. But is this true? The surprising and inconvenient fact is that nothing can move in spacetime because a time dimension, as I explained in the previous post, makes motion impossible. This alone falsifies the spacetime model. In Conjectures and Refutations (pdf), Karl Popper called spacetime, Einstein's block universe in which nothing happens. He even compared Einstein to Parmenides of Elea who, along with his more famous student, Zeno, maintained that nothing changes. Not even wrong. Here's a partial quote (emphasis added):
At the same time I realized that such myths may be developed, and become testable; that historically speaking all — or very nearly all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth may contain important anticipations of scientific theories. Examples are Empedocles' theory of evolution by trial and error, or Parmenides' myth of the unchanging block universe in which nothing ever happens and which, if we add another dimension, becomes Einstein's block universe (in which, too, nothing ever happens, since everything is, four-dimensionally speaking, determined and laid down from the beginning).
Einstein's block universe is a thorn on the side of relativists. How many times have we read about the magic properties of spacetime and how bodies travel along their geodesics in spacetime? How many times have we heard how matter curves spacetime and how the curvature of spacetime affects the motion of bodies? Only to find out that it was all a bunch of lies. Many physicists know about these things but they rarely mention them because it makes them look stupid. Besides, why rock the boat that you are riding in?

LIGO Fraud

If gravity is instantaneous (there can be no doubt about it, in my view), then LIGO must be a scam, a fraud perpetrated on an unsuspecting public to the tune of billions of dollars. Of course, the public who pays the salaries of LIGO physicists and funds their expensive projects has no way to verify their claims. But sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost. Wait for it.

Addendum (6/2/16):

Relativity Implicitly Assumes Instant Communication while Explicitly Forbidding it

Relativists will, of course, reply with an argument that I have heard many times before. They will claim that I do not understand general relativity theory and that GR addresses my concern about the finite speed of gravity. They will argue that, by some unknown magic, the sun communicates information regarding its velocity relative to the earth and all other bodies in the universe. This way, the other bodies can somehow (more magic) read the information and more or less guess where the sun is even though they receive the information some time after it was sent. Of course, they decline to explain how this information is encoded, transmitted and how the other bodies detect it. That's the magic part. This part of the theory is somehow immune to falsification. Not very scientific, if you ask me. But it gets worse, much worse.

It is a laughably self-contradicting argument simply because there is no way that the sun can "know" about its velocity relative to any other body so as to transmit it to any of them. The problem has to do with the word ‘relative’. It is a problem with all observer-centric, relativity-based, local theories because the word ‘relative’ implies instantaneous knowledge between distant bodies even though such knowledge is forbidden by the local nature of the theory: nothing can move faster than the speed of light. So general relativists are breaking their own rule. On the one hand, they are saying that information must travel at or below the speed of light and this is why changes in gravity must travel at the speed of light. On the other hand, they are using instantaneous information to determine the relative velocity between distant bodies. This is not even wrong.

The argument is so stupid and so painfully contrived that I declined to address it when I first wrote the article. But I have since seen it repeated elsewhere on the web and I could not let it go without a refutation. This is the kind of crap that the public is forced to support with their hard earned money.

Steven Carlip's Aberration and the Speed of Gravity

Relativity proponent Steven Carlip wrote a paper (Aberration and the Speed of Gravity) in 1999 that supposedly laid the problem to rest. In the paper's abstract he writes (emphasis added):

"By evaluating the gravitational effect of an accelerating mass, I show that aberration in general relativity is almost exactly canceled by velocity-dependent interactions, permitting cg=c."

Ironically, Carlip's use of the phrase "velocity-dependent interactions" in the abstract immediately refutes his argument that information about the sun's velocity relative to the earth or any other body can be determined in the sun's frame of reference and communicated to other bodies. This would have to assume the existence of either absolute motion/position or instantaneous communication between distant bodies, both of which the theory forbids. The fact that such crackpottery can make it past peer review shows that relativity physics is not about science. It is strictly about politics. Einstein's physics is now a full-fledged religion and political movement.

New: Why Steven Carlip Is Mistaken about the Speed of Gravity or Why LIGO Is Still a Scam

Addendum (6/4/16):

Infinite Regress and the Graviton

Let us assume for the sake of argument that the relativist hypothesis is correct. In order to communicate information about its relative velocity to other bodies, a massive object would have to encode it in a particle which would then travel at the speed of light out into space. Physicists call this particle, the graviton. The problem with the use of a mediating particle as the carrier of the gravitational force is that gravity, unlike the other forces, affects everything the same way. This includes the gravitons themselves. This immediately introduces an infinite self-referential regress that throws a giant monkey wrench into the works. It is an insurmountable problem. But don't tell quantum gravity physicists about it. The graviton idea is one of their most beloved pet theories.

Parlor Tricks

But that is not all. Since physicists cannot account for the self-energy of the graviton, they have to use one of their favorite parlor tricks to explain away the obvious violation of the conservation of energy: physics via labeling. Just call the graviton "virtual" et voila! Problem solved. It is embarrassing, to say the least.

The All-Seeing Nonlocal Universe

The only alternative is that there is no graviton. We are now back to Newtonian physics which makes no assumptions about the mechanism of gravity. If so, how can the gravitational force be communicated to other bodies? The answer is that there is no communication. Gravity is an instantaneous or nonlocal phenomenon. Everything "feels" or "sees" the gravity of everything else instantly. Distance is a perceptual illusion. The universe is one and all-seeing. Or, to borrow a Biblical metaphor, everything is "full of eyes".

See Also

Aberration and the Speed of Gravity (Carlip)
Does Gravity Travel at the Speed of Light? (Carlip)
Why Steven Carlip Is Mistaken about the Speed of Gravity or Why LIGO Is Still a Scam
Relativity Implicitly Assumes Instant Communication at a Distance While Explicitly Forbidding It
Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion
How to Falsify Einstein's Physics, For Dummies
How Einstein Shot Physics in the Foot
Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime Physics
Why Einstein's Physics Is Crap
Physicists Don't Know Shit
Nothing Can Move in Spacetime
Physics: The Problem with Motion
Why Gravitational Waves Are Nonsense
Physics: The Surprisingly Simple Reason that the Speed of Light Is the Fastest Possible Speed and that Particle Decay Is Probabilistic

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Physics: The Surprisingly Simple Reason that the Speed of Light Is the Fastest Possible Speed and that Particle Decay Is Probabilistic


In this article, I argue that there is a surprisingly simple explanation for both the speed of light limit and the probabilistic nature of subatomic particle decay. I also argue that the physics community could have understood these principles many decades ago were they not blinded by their strange infatuation with Einstein's spacetime physics.

Physicists Do Not Know Why the Speed of Light is the Fastest Possible Speed

In September 2011, the physics community made complete fools of themselves when a CERN team announced to the world that they had detected neutrinos moving faster than light speed only to be proven wrong a few months later. The question is, if physicists understood why c is the fastest possible speed in the universe, how could they have made such an embarrassing blunder? They obviously have no clue.

There Is Only One Speed in the Universe

The truth about the speed of light will surprise everybody, physicists and laymen alike. There is actually only one speed in the universe and that is the speed of light. Nothing can move faster or slower, period. A particle moves by making quantum jumps at the speed of light interspersed with rest periods. The duration of a rest period is equal to that of a jump. If a particle appears to move at half the speed of light, its motion actually consists of an equal number of jumps and rest periods. At the speed of light, it is all jumps and no rest periods. At ordinary speeds, a moving particle is at rest almost all the time with just a few jumps sprinkled in.

Why is there only one speed in the universe? Again, the actual reason will surprise. In spite of all the indoctrination and the incessant propaganda we have been subjected to in the last one hundred years or so, there is no such thing as a time dimension. A time dimension would make motion impossible. Why? The short answer is that moving in time is self-referential. The slightly longer answer is that a change in time implies a velocity in time which would have to be given as v = dt/dt = 1, which is nonsense. All that time travel stuff is nonsense. Since there is no time dimension, nature cannot calculate durations. This means that all jump durations are equal to a fundamental duration, which is the interval it takes a particle to move a fundamental distance, a very minute length that some believe is the Planck length.

Physicists Don't Know Why Particle Decay Is Probabilistic

Physicists have known for a long time that most subatomic particles have a limited life. Sooner or later, they decay into other particles. But something strange happens during particle decay. Take the neutron for example. What they discovered is that, although it is impossible to predict exactly when any given neutron will decay, it is possible to predict how long it will take for half of a group of neutrons to decay, about 15 minutes. But which neutrons within the group will decay cannot be known in advance. They are selected randomly. In other words, particle decay is probabilistic. Although physicists are clueless as to why this happens, it did not stop them from conjuring up all sorts of Star Trek voodoo physics such as multiple universes and quantum states that have multiple values simultaneously. My favorite is the one where nothing happens unless there is an observer to observe it. It boggles the mind.

All Interactions Have Equal Durations

The non-existence of a time dimension is also the reason that particle decay is inherently probabilistic. Normally, one would expect the duration of a quantum interaction to depend on the energies involved in the interaction. But since there is no time dimension, nature cannot calculate the exact durations of quantum interactions. In other words, all interactions, regardless of the energies involved, have the exact same fundamental discrete duration, a very minute interval. This is the same interval used by quantum jumps during particle motion.

The problem is that the use of equal durations for all interactions would break energy conservation laws. Nature has no recourse but to use probability to decide when to allow interactions to happen. Nature knows how energetic every type of interaction is. It uses this value to determine, at every discrete instant, the percentage of all similar particles in the entire universe which must undergo decay. It must choose them randomly, otherwise it would result in a lopsided universe. Over the long run, conservation laws are obeyed.

It should be obvious from the above that the universe must be inherently nonlocal. It is a single machine with a single universal and absolute heartbeat. Otherwise conservation laws would not work.

Relativist Objection

The nearest relativist will immediately object. I can almost hear it: "Moving relative to what? "At rest relative to what?" Don't let it intimidate you. Relativists are the most clueless people in the world when it comes to understanding the true nature of motion. They have managed to indoctrinate the entire world with their religion. The doctrine according to which there exist only relative position and motion in the universe is about as braindead as it can get. It is so lame and so easily refuted, it pains me to think about how they have managed to get away with it for so long. Mass delusion, political propaganda and extraordinary peer pressure are the only explanations I can think of.

The relativist objection fails right out of the gate because any system where everything is relative to everything else is obviously a self-referential system. That's it! This is the refutation. There is no need to go further. The truth is that, at the fundamental level, everything is absolute. The relative is abstract. For some strange reason, relativists have a love affair with self-reference. Moving in time is self-referential and so is moving in a universe where only relative motion and position are possible. The whole thing is mind boggling, almost surrealistic.

Relativists will immediately retort that time dilation is proof that relativity is correct about time. Don't you believe it. Clocks do slow down, but not because time dilates, which is nonsense. They slow down because of energy conservation principles at work. That is all. Again, time cannot change by definition and simple logic.


Einsteinian physics is a monkey wrench in the works.  The idea that there is a time dimension along which we are moving in one direction or the other and the everything-is-relative dogma are conceptual disasters that have prevented physicists and other thinkers from seeing nature as it truly is. They have sent several generations of researchers on a wild goose chase for over a century. The current relativity craze is the claim that gravitational waves, which were predicted by Einstein, were recently detected by the LIGO experiment. In my opinion, LIGO is a total scam, a fraud perpetrated on an unsuspecting public to the tune of billions of dollars. I predict that it will come back to bite the physics community in the ass, and much sooner than the scammers suspect.

I have been writing about some of these things for many years. Click on the links below if you are interested.

See Also

Why LIGO Is a Scam
Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion
How to Falsify Einstein's Physics, For Dummies
How Einstein Shot Physics in the Foot
Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime Physics
Why Einstein's Physics Is Crap
Physicists Don't Know Shit
Nothing Can Move in Spacetime
Physics: The Problem with Motion
Why Gravitational Waves Are Nonsense

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Repost: Why Quantum Computing Is Bunk (part 1)

(I wrote this article nine years ago. I still feel the same way about quantum computing. In my view, QC is nothing but a scientific fraud and a scam. Sorry.)

Part I, II

Paul Feyerabend, the foremost science critic of the last century, once wrote in his book 'Against Method' that "the most stupid procedures and the most laughable results in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down in size, and to give them a more modest position in society." Feyerabend was speaking of scientists in general but he may as well have been talking about the new "science" of quantum computing. Quantum computing is based on the so-called Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. The idea is that the states of certain quantum properties, such as the spin of a particle, are superposed, meaning that a quantum property can have multiple states simultaneously.

The blatantly ridiculous nature of this belief has not stopped an entire research industry from sprouting everywhere in the academic community. QC researchers are making grandiose promises about magical computational powers being just around the corner in order to obtain grants and attract the attention of gullible investors while having nothing to show of practical importance. Not a week goes by without some announcement about some "progress" or "advance" in QC. It's like a magician going through all sorts of contortions without ever pulling the rabbit out of the hat. Rather than retrace their steps, a few physicists have tried to explain away the contradictions by postulating the existence of an infinite number of universes one for each quantum state. In so doing, the QC hole keeps getting deeper and deeper and words like fraud, crackpottery and hoax come to mind.

The problem with QC is not so much its laughable absurdity, but the fact that quantum physicists have no clue as to why certain quantum processes are probabilistic in the first place. Physicists love to boast that theirs is an empirical science but have no qualms believing in things that have never been observed. To them, superposition is not an interpretation or a belief but a fact. However, from my vantage point, QC is now a full-blown organized religion. In my next article, I will explain the simple reason that quantum processes are probabilistic and why quantum computing is utter nonsense or, using one of my favorite putdowns, "chicken feather voodoo physics".

Go to Part II

See Also:

D-Wave's Quantum Computing Crackpottery

Friday, May 6, 2016

Materialists Are Boneheaded Jackasses: Why You Have a Supernatural Soul

Materialism Is Big Brother

The scientific community has been taken over by materialists, a fascist bunch of boneheaded religionists who have managed to convince the governments of most nations on planet Earth that they alone have the right to dictate what is science and what is not. Their hegemony on the public discourse is frighteningly efficient and ubiquitous. They have managed to control all of science, education, the media, the legal systems, the economic systems and the political systems of western nations. And if one assumes that they did all of this in a democratic fashion via the ballot box, one would be wrong. They accomplished their takeover using the most fascist method possible: the forced indoctrination of our children and the manipulation of public opinion via incessant propaganda, political correctness and other forms of intimidation. The assholes never asked us for our opinions.

If you don't accept that you have no soul, that you are nothing but flesh and bone, that dirt is the mother of life, that the universe poofed itself into existence and that your free will is an illusion, then you are a stupid despicable creationist. And you'd better hide your stupid beliefs, otherwise you will not advance in your career. You will be blacklisted and fired from positions of authority. Your scientific papers will certainly not be accepted for publication. You are being watched. Pay homage to the materialist gods or suffer the consequences. Materialism is Big Brother.

Be a Fearless Rebel

Do not be afraid of the fascist assholes. They are more scared of you than you are of them. This is why they have to use the threat of force to impose their cretinous dirt-worshipping religion on the public. And they are stealing your money to do it under the pretext of advancing science. Without you, they are nothing. Look the dirt worshippers right in the eye and tell them you have no fear. Tell the jackasses to go pound sand up their asses or something. The time of the rebellion is almost at hand. Materialists would like you to stop believing in the existence of a supernatural soul. The reason is that all the other religions believe in a soul. They are competing against the other religions under the guise of being all about science. They are accomplished weavers of lies and deception. The first thing you must do to join the rebellion is to arm yourself with a rock solid reason to support your belief in a supernatural soul. Otherwise, you are doomed to be no better than a dung beetle collecting shitballs in the dirt.

Why We Have a Soul

To deny the existence of an immaterial or supernatural soul is to stop believing one's own eyes. The amazing colorful 3D vista we think we see in front of our eyes is totally supernatural. Why? Because there is no 3D vista in our visual cortex or anywhere else (1). Our visual cortex and our entire brain are just a bunch of firing neurons. Space and distance are not a function of neuronal pulses. The only thing that matters in the brain is the temporal relationships between the pulses. They are either concurrent or sequential.

We certainly do not sense biochemicals and electric spikes flowing through our axons, synapses and dendrites. We see a fabulous, dynamic model of the world in glorious 3D. Something translated those neuronal firings into a colorful 3D vista. Call it spirit, soul or whatever. But it certainly exists and it is not material, a billion materialists claiming otherwise notwithstanding.

1. It can be logically shown that space (distance) does not exist at all. It is an abstract creation of the mind.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why Gravitational Waves Are Nonsense

New: Read Why LIGO Is a Scam for a different take on the subject.


As most of you have heard, tomorrow is the day of the big announcement from LIGO regarding their gravitational wave detection experiment. As my readers have come to expect, I always have a rebellious point of view in matters concerning physics, artificial intelligence and computer science. Once again, I aim to please. I detest relativistic physics about as much as I detest mainstream AI. Einsteinian physics has retarded progress in our understanding of the universe by at least a century, in my opinion. I have written about this on many occasions in the past (see the links at the end of this article). Below I explain in simple terms why gravitational waves are crap and why any announcement from anybody that such waves have been detected is either fraudulent or another pathetic error.

The Circus Has Not Left Town Yet

There are many reasons that gravitational waves are nonsense but what follows is my favorite. It is very simple and it won't take long. As usual, it has to do with infinite regress. In my research, I have found that nearly everything that is wrong with both classical and quantum physics is almost invariably due to infinite regress. So here goes.

Gravity affects everything that exists equally regardless of mass and this includes massless particles. Both Newton and Galileo understood this centuries ago, even though relativists claim that they are the ones who figured it out. Go figure.

The problem is that this undeniable principle means that gravity also affects gravitational waves. Since these waves affect themselves, they either cancel themselves out or amplify themselves recursively. The same objection applies to so-called curved space and to hypothetical intermediary particles such as gravitons. In other words, if it exists, regardless of its mass, gravity affects it. The infinite self-referential regress is too painful to even contemplate.


Paul Feyerabend was right when he wrote in Against Method, "the most stupid procedures and the most laughable result in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down to size and to give them a lower position in society." Einsteinian physics is indeed laughable. To borrow the words of Wolfgang Pauli, it is not even wrong.

All relativists are out to lunch. Tomorrow, I'll be watching the whole circus unfold with a bag of Cheetos in one hand, a beer in the other and a smirk on my face.

Live LIGO Broadcast on YouTube

See Also:

Why LIGO is a Scam
How to Falsify Einstein's Physics, for Dummies
Relativity Implicitly Assumes Instant Communication at a Distance While Explicitly Forbidding It
Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion
How Einstein Shot Physics in the Foot
Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime Physics
Why Einstein's Physics Is Crap
Nothing Can Move in Spacetime
Physics: The Problem with Motion
Sitting on a Mountain of Crap, Wasting Time
Physicists Don't Know Shit

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg Understands the Problem with DeepMind's Brand of AI

DeepMind's GO Playing Program

In the wake of DeepMind's announcement that their GO playing program has defeated the European GO champion, I thought I would write a short post to express my usual rebellious point of view. DeepMind is claiming that this is another giant step toward true AI but this could not be further from the truth. In spite of all the hoopla and the back slapping, I can assure everyone that there has been no breakthrough and no giant step toward true general machine intelligence. This time though, I will let FaceBook's Mark Zuckerberg explain why DeepMind's GO program is not even close to true AI.

Zuckerberg Nails It

In a recent blog post, he had this to say about supervised learning, the kind of machine learning used by DeepMind (emphasis mine):
Our best guess at how to teach an AI common sense is through a method called unsupervised learning. My example of supervised learning above was showing a picture book to a child and telling them the names of everything they see. Unsupervised learning would be giving them a book and letting them figure out what to do with it. They could pick it up and by touching it learn to turn the pages. Or they could let go of it and realize it falls to the ground.

Unsupervised learning is learning how the world works by observing and trying things out rather than being told what to do. This is how most animals learn. It's key to building systems with human-like common sense because it doesn't require a person to teach it everything they know. It gives the machine the ability to anticipate what may happen in the future and predict the effect of an action. It could help us build machines that can hold conversations or plan complex sequences of actions -- necessary components for any authentic Jarvis.

Unsupervised learning is a long term focus of our AI research team at Facebook, and it remains an important challenge for the whole AI research community.

Since no one understands how general unsupervised learning actually works, we're quite a ways off from building the general AIs you see in movies. Some people claim this is just a matter of getting more computing power -- and that as Moore's law continues and computing becomes cheaper we'll naturally have AIs that surpass human intelligence. This is incorrect. We fundamentally do not understand how general learning works. This is an unsolved problem -- maybe the most important problem of this century or even millennium. Until we solve this problem, throwing all the machine power in the world at it cannot create an AI that can do everything a person can.
Zuckerberg is right.

See Also:

Why Deep Learning Is a Hindrance to Progress Toward True AI