De-mystifying AI


Maddie Abuyuan / BuzzFeed News; Getty Images


Peter Nielsen: The reason most of us will soon be accompanied by AI robotic companions, helpers is that they will be extremely easy to be educated to know everything they need to know while human companions, helpers, are NOT!

John Reid: AI is effectively useless—and it’s created a fake-it-till-you-make-it bubble that could end in disaster—

Peter Nielsen: Oh yes, there’s an AI bubble in the usual way of everything NEW, with most of the hype helping crooks make money . . . Sorry, to the extent that I might have contributed to that.

My understanding of AI is informed by my belief that humans are essentially Riders on Elephants, with the Elephant connecting to God/One Mind via its soul, as in Hinduism. I see the Rider as the chatterer that AI research informs us about, in so far as it ignores wisdom coming from the Elephant which is often the case, almost totally for most of us most of the time. It is this social surface of humans that I am alluding to in most of my AI commentary, their shaping much that passes as human, NOT the Elephants so much.

John Reid: My understanding of AI was informed by a maths lecture on Markov Processes I attended when I was an undergraduate in the 1960s. AI is just the implementation of cascaded Markov Processes using a very large training set made possible with modern computer power. As such it is incapable of original thought or understanding. It can only regurgitate patterns from its training set. The term Artificial Intelligence is therefore misleading – “Simulated Intelligence” would be more appropriate. AI is not completely useless – it is very good at mking deep fakes providing human editors vet them for extra hands and fingers as in the image at the top of this page. (See also:

Peter Nielsen: Yes, but “simulated intelligence” is also what we see in most Riders most of the time, its being so SHALLOW, a shallowness consistent with both AI and usual chatter arising in neural networks. Organic in the chattering Rider. Digital in AI.
My experiences of some Elephants, particularly with a telepathic one, is that Elephantine intelligence is entirely different. My intuition is that Elephantine intelligence arises from Quantum Mechanical micro-tubule connections to One Mind, more or less as explained in this video:

John Reid: A neural network is an effective way of implementing a Markov process or Markov chain as hardware, i.e. the predicted event is a function of the probabilities of past events. In my view intelligence is an emergent property of a very large number of nested Markov chains. This idea can be generalized to include external inputs such as physiological inputs, even telepathy, if it exists, but it is not mystical. Your elephant and rider dichotomy is a macroscopic description of this nested hierarchy. In my view there may well be more than two levels.

Regarding consciousness, I recognise consciousness in others and in my cat because part of my brain is dedicated to this task. It is called “Theory of Mind” and is located primarily in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the left and right temporoparietal junctions (TPJ). That’s it. That is what consciousness is. It is behaviour that is recognized as conscious by the Theory of Mind part of the human brain.

Peter Nielsen: Humans have thus been infinitely harder to educate . . . Traditional Educational practice will be seen as unnecessary when less complicated robotic helper-companions prove themselves to be able to do all the hard stuff for us however badly we’ve been educated . . . Increasingly so until . . . !?!

INFINITE, this advantage robotic helpers will have over human helpers, their being digitally loaded with everything they need to know, EASILY, CHEAPLY.

John Reid: We are already witnessing the negative effects of the evil intrusion of the digital world into the organic, human one with the significant increase in suicide rates of teenagers due to mobile phone bullying. To me, what you are describing could finish up as a bizarre Kafka-esque form of Hell.

Stop Press from Ralph Drayton-Witty: Children are susceptible to viewing popular home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home range as lifelike and quasi-human confidantes, Dr Kurian said. As a result, their interactions with the technology can go awry because neither the child nor the AI product are able to recognise the unique needs and vulnerabilities of such scenarios.