As most parents of teenagers are acutely aware, there comes a time when children start prioritising their friends over their parents. While young children rely on their parents for social interactions and influences, there’s a notable switch during adolescence, where the influence from peers and friends becomes more important.
In 1956, during a year-long trip to London and in his early 20s, the mathematician and theoretical biologist Jack D. Cowan visited Wilfred Taylor and his strange new “learning machine”. On his arrival he was baffled by the “huge bank of apparatus” that confronted him. Cowan could only stand by and watch “the machine doing its thing”. The thing it appeared to be doing was performing an “associative memory scheme” – it seemed to be able to learn how to find connections and retrieve data.
You’re walking down a busy street on your way to work. You pass a busker playing a song you haven’t heard in years. Now suddenly, instead of noticing all the goings on in the city around you, you’re mentally reliving the first time you heard the song. Hearing that piece of music takes you right back to where you were, who you were with and the feelings associated with that memory.
You’re sitting on the plane, staring out of the window at the clouds and all of a sudden, you think back to how a few months ago, you had a heart-to-heart with a good colleague about the pressure you experience at work. How do thoughts seemingly completely unrelated to the present pop into our heads? Why do we remember certain things and not others? Why does our mind go off on tangents and why do we have daydreams?
Even if you think you are good at analysing faces, research shows many people cannot reliably distinguish between photos of real faces and images that have been computer-generated. This is particularly problematic now that computer systems can create realistic-looking photos of people who don’t exist.
OAKLAND, Calif., June 30 (Reuters) – AI chatbot company Replika, which offers customers bespoke avatars that talk and listen to them, says it receives a handful of messages almost every day from users who believe their online friend is sentient.