Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Robots, Choice, Embodiment

About a week ago I introduced the new category of “fabertising” and that was a good call, because where human thinking and media are concerned, you really have to keep an eye on advertising—a kind of perpendicular axis to the simple philosophical notion that there are facts that can be proven to be true or false.  That much done, I now realize, after watching this brilliant piece from Scientific American and Alan Alda that it is time to stop discussing the difference between two categories that I have had here before; namely, “It’s thinking” and “Those Crazy Droids.” In fact, it is time that we realize that our capacity to recognize data within a context—what we call information—is totally dependent on (or embedded in) our construction and our ability to aggregate data in the first place. Intelligence is about prediction and is therefore architected on the foundation of inductive reasoning and data assimilation. Our intellect is embodied—without multiple forms of perception, there is no predictive ability. Watch the video after the jump:

At this point in the 21st century it is completely fair to say that if “it” is not thinking then we are talking about fancy remote controlled cars.  And no one ever said that a remote controlled car was much more than a toy. Toys don’t react, they have no awareness, and they have no choice. But then the classic 21st century question is how are we NOT remote controlled cars. I know where your brain is; so do you. I know the answer but you would rather have freedom than chaos—up to you.

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