The Quantum Pontiff

More Human Than a Human

A while back I posted a short, hopefully jocular, note about the machine learning algorithm for catching card counters at blackjack. Here is a more substantial article about the system. I wonder if systems like these will find use outside of gambling: anywhere an employee performs a repeated physical task (think a grocery store clerk?) and the company want to catch the errors. Boy those jobs are going to stink it up kind of rotten: “Johnny, if you make one more computer detected error tomorrow at the check stand, we’re going to have to let you go!” Is it better to be fired by a computer or by a human?


  1. #1 wolfgang
    January 12, 2010

    I guess if the robot can detect the error then it should be able to do the job in the first place.

  2. #2 Dave Bacon
    January 12, 2010

    Ah what I was trying to suggest is that the middle ground, where you need a human to do the task, but where computers can check your work, is a bit disarming to me. Of course this is true of all sorts of work with repeated tasks where you have a metric to follow. Somehow the computer aided vision part of this just gives me the willies a bit.

  3. #3 Jonathan Vos Post
    January 12, 2010

    I’m sure you can clarify the “forging of conjunctions resulting in states of entanglement…” in the below-linked to paper.

    “… Several elements will require further development, such as the use of the Schrodinger equation to model the dynamical unfolding of the conception of combinations of concepts….”

    A model of the emergence and evolution of integrated worldviews
    Authors: Liane Gabora, Diederik Aerts
    (Submitted on 9 Jan 2010)

    Abstract: It is proposed that the ability of humans to flourish in diverse environments and evolve complex cultures reflects the following two underlying cognitive transitions. The transition from the coarse-grained associative memory of Homo habilis to the fine-grained memory of Homo erectus enabled limited representational redescription of perceptually similar episodes, abstraction, and analytic thought, the last of which is modeled as the formation of states and of lattices of properties and contexts for concepts. The transition to the modern mind of Homo sapiens is proposed to have resulted from onset of the capacity to spontaneously and temporarily shift to an associative mode of thought conducive to interaction amongst seemingly disparate concepts, modeled as the forging of conjunctions resulting in states of entanglement. The fruits of associative thought became ingredients for analytic thought, and vice versa. The ratio of associative pathways to concepts surpassed a percolation threshold resulting in the emergence of a self-modifying, integrated internal model of the world, or worldview.

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