Tag Archives: Cognitive Psychology

Note taking by using computer makes you better recall

When you get into the college, have you ever agonized about your note-taking skills? For me, studying in high school and studying in college was drastically different. Professors talk about a variety of fields and I have to remember all of the main points and examples at the same time. Thus, my freshman grade was pretty bad and I had to take advice from my parents and professors to improve my study skills. There are many ways to review what you’ve learned, but this journal gave me a new perspective of recalling memory. You might’ve had to take notes by using a computer instead of hand writing them. If you have a lecture where your professor talks really fast or talks a lot, you might have used or thought to use a computer to take notes.

The study I want to share is about improving memory recollection by using the alternative note-taking skill I’ve previously mentioned; transcribing by using a computer. This experiment was conducted by Dung C. Bui, Joel Myerson, and Sandra Hale of Washington University. They hypothesized three things, but here, I want to focus on the first experiment. The researchers wanted to compare taking notes by hand with taking notes using a computer in terms of their effects on test performance. The researchers gathered eighty undergraduate students and tested free recall and short answer after showing them a lecture. There were four conditions: Hand_organized, Hand_transcribed, Computer_organized, Computer_transcribed. As a result, there was more recall when using a computer than when using your hand to take notes when transcribing a lecture. This study explained the limitations of writing by hand due to the speed of writing and the length of time. Also, considering the aspect of the quantity of the notes, working memory had a relationship with recall ability. In another blog, I found a study where students who took notes using a computer wrote an average of 310 words per lecture while students who took notes by hand wrote an average of 173 words. This number supports the finding that using the computer is much faster in inputting words.

Summarizing shortly about the second and third experiment, organized notes were better in recalling delayed test performance than transcribed notes, but not for immediate test performance. Also, in terms of note-quantity, if the note was transcribed, the quantity could be greater. Next, the researcher hypothesized that working memory is related to recalling. In addition, working memory is essential for effective note-taking. If there is an individual difference, it is due to the variance of working memory abilities that have an effect on organized notes, not on transcribed notes. So the second and third experiments were vital to support the first experiment and explain the exempted situations.

Myself, I like taking transcribed notes by hand or paraphrasing what the professor is saying in my notes. This type of skill is good for weekly quizzes but not for the mid-term or final exam. According to this research, I should have taken notes based on transcribed notes for the final. Especially if I am going to write transcribed notes during the lecture, I think I’d better use my laptop than my hand so that I don’t have to always ask the professor about points I missed. If you were worrying about your own note-taking style, this research might help you develop the proper studying-skills for each situation. Again, this is based on the result of test performance. The strong point of this research is it defines the situations well so that you don’t doubt any exceptions or questions in your mind. The conclusion is shortly after using your computer, you can write a lot during class especially if it is typed. Yet, there are a lot of situations that need another style of note-taking skill. I hope that you, the reader, will use this post to switch between note taking skills. If you haven’t tried to do so, I think that this is a good method to study.

Art of Ventriloquism

Jeff Dunham, do you know him? Doesn’t sound familiar? He sells out pretty much every arena he’s ever performed in; racked in $38,000,000 dollars on ticket sales alone in one year. No, he’s not a musician…He’s a ventriloquist; a person who is able to “throw his voice” so that it sounds like it’s coming from somewhere else, specifically from a dummy. Sounds simple enough, right? At least, in terms of what he does. But what’s really happening during a ventriloquist act is not just the normal ways of communication in every day life. One could say that, for people like Dunham, there’s a whole different type of speech generation involved with the language of a ventriloquist.

In a broad sense, there are three important components of speech that every human uses, no matter what their profession: respiration, phonation, and articulation. Respiration comes from our lungs by increasing their capacity. This decreases the air pressure, which causes us to breathe in. Phonation is when the energy produced from the air flow becomes audible. This is due to the different forms of cartilage in the larynx that rotate to cause vocal folds. Lastly, articulation occurs when vocal tracts near the larynx change in shape by making movement of the lips, tongue, or jaw.

chp_vocal_tract

Different Structures of the Vocal Tract 

So what’s unique to a ventriloquist? In class we discussed how we (as americans) tend to think that people speaking another language are talking really fast, despite English being one of the fastest languages spoken. This is because we don’t perceive there to be any gaps between their words. Although there aren’t any gaps in English either, we still feel like we hear the gaps due to knowing the speech segmentation of the English language, which allows us to decide where words and sounds begin and end. When watching a ventriloquist perform, a similar thing happens.

Similar to how we feel listening to someone speak in a different language!

Similar to how we feel listening to someone speak in a different language!

Since the ventriloquists’ illusion depends on their audience being fully drawn to the “voice” of the puppet, they must make sure to keep their mouths as still as possible. As we know, though, there are just certain letters that require the use of our lips. The trick is, ventriloquists create substitutions for letters “b”, “f”, “m”, “p”, “q”, “v”, and “w”. For instance, the letter “b” is substituted with the sound “geh”. This sound substitution is done quickly, which causes our brain and ears to automatically fill in the missing letter; the same way our brain and ears create gaps between words and sounds. A better example that was also discussed in class, is when someone coughs while the teacher is lecturing. The cough blocks out the sound of a particular letter in a word, but our brains are able to fill that letter in so that we think we heard it being pronounced.

We find people like Jeff Dunham to have entertaining talents, but now we know there’s a lot more to it than them keeping their mouths still. Knowing this now, it’d be interesting to watch a performance and focus on the ventriloquist to see if the substitutions can be recognized. I wonder if it would be harder to tell they aren’t saying the actual letters if the ventriloquist had a normal conversation where he/she used the substitutions, but allowed their mouths to move? Even if we can establish the substitutions, I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard at all to make our minds switch back to the illusion that continues to entertain us.

How Powerful are Placebo Effects?

 

Let’s say that you were diagnosed with social anxiety. Your psychiatrist prescribes you some pills that you can take right before or during social situations in order to reduce the negative effects that anxiety brings to you. It’s your go-to magic pill that does wonders in those dreadful situations where you have to be around numerous people. Every single time you have to meet up with extended family, or work in a group project, and god forbid- speak in front of the whole class for a presentation—your pills never fail to make you feel a little bit better.

What if those pills were nothing more than sugar pills? Sugar pills that have no chemical and active ingredients that are supposedly there to decrease your social anxiety symptoms. It’s simply an “empty” pill to get you to believe that by taking it, it would make you feel better. However, in reality, it does absolutely nothing to you physically. You realize it’s all in your head. Would you react positively or be completely furious? No matter your reaction, one thing could not be denied- the fact that placebo effects are powerful.

In an article I came across on the Psychology Today website, it highlights a study done by researchers Baba Shiv, Ziv Carmon, and Dan Ariely to see how placebo effects are manipulated depending on people’s knowledge about it. In their study, which was done in 2005, they used an energy drink that they either told people enhances mental ability largely or enhances it just slightly. The participants were then asked to unscramble a number of words given to them by the researchers. After the task, the participants were then asked to rate the effectiveness of the drink on their completion of the given cognitive task. The results? They found that the more people believed in the effectiveness of the drink, the more likely they were to unscramble more words.

This study supports the idea that placebo effects are extremely influential and affects us more than we think. This article leads me to think of a crazy yet logical theory– What if doctors alongside with pharmaceutical companies are merely prescribing and distributing sugar pills to make more profit? Maybe it’s actually just us, the consumers, who believe that taking those pills will make us feel better when it’s really all in our heads. Mind blowing? I sure believe so.

Although, sure enough, this is not true with every pill that people all over the world take. Majority, if not all, of the pills that are prescribed to the human population really do have a chemical effect on our bodies. But with this phenomenon of the placebo effect- I sure can’t help but wonder- what if?

 

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

marchblogpostchildhoodamnesia

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/08/299189442/the-forgotten-childhood-why-early-memories-fade

As adults, we all try to remember certain memories from when we were young but somehow can’t manage to remember what happened.  As we discussed in class a few weeks ago, we call this phenomenon childhood amnesia.  After discussing childhood amnesia and false memories in class, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued to find out more information on childhood amnesia.  I came across this article, which is a year old, but I thought it was still appropriate because it discusses childhood amnesia, and answered some questions I had regarding childhood amnesia.  As we have discussed in class, we know that we have little memory before the age of 4 years old and that on average, the first memory we have is around 3 and a half years old.  This article discusses when childhood amnesia starts, which memories from our childhood persist, and how the power of the memory can determine whether we remember or forget that childhood memory. 

This article discusses multiple research done related to childhood amnesia.  Specifically, the article discusses research in relation to when childhood amnesia starts, which childhood memories persist, and the power of memory.  In terms of research done on when childhood amnesia starts, the article discussed research done to see what happened to memories of children over time.  They recorded 3-year olds talking to their parents about a specific event that happened.  A few years later, researched checked back with the children to see if they remembered the events.  Children who were 7 recalled more than 60% of the events while children who were 8 or 9 only recalled less than 40% of the events.  In terms of which childhood memories persist, the article discussed research done by Carole Peterson who studied children who were hospitalized in emergency rooms as young as 2 years old for injuries.  Because these memories were emotional and significant events, Peterson concluded that children had good memory of those events, even up to 10 years later.  Lastly, in terms of the power of the memory, the article discussed how researchers found that parents play a big role in what children remember.  Specifically, they found that, parents who help shape, structure, and context to a memory, the memory is less likely to fade.

With the many different research done on childhood amnesia, we can figure out specific ways to make memories from our childhood stronger.  The article discusses the findings from research which relates to how we can make our childhood memory stronger.  The researchers discussed reasons as to why our childhood memories from such a young age aren’t always remembered.  Specifically, they concluded that because our brain systems are so immature at such a young age, they may not be working as efficiently as they could, especially in our older, adult years.  The article discussed how childhood memories are more likely to survive if those memories involve a lot of emotion.  For example, we’re more likely to remember events that involved us breaking a bone rather than a memory on what we did for our 4th birthday.  Lastly, our childhood memory is likely to survive if our parents help us make the power of that memory stronger.  For example, if parents help us shape and structure and add context to the memory, we’re more likely to remember it when we’re adults.  All this information and research are all helpful information in trying to understand childhood amnesia.

When I came across this article, I had a lot of questions in which I hope the article would answer.  After I had read the article, I did learn more information about childhood amnesia, on top of what we’ve learned in class.  I think that the article did a wonderful job in explaining childhood amnesia, when it starts, which childhood memories persist, and how to make our childhood memories more powerful.  This article gave me a deeper understanding of childhood amnesia in which we didn’t discuss in class.  I think that the research done was very helpful in giving me a better understanding of what childhood amnesia is.  I liked how they had examples of instances when childhood amnesia occurs and ways to enhance childhood memories. 

After reading the article and relating it to what we’ve discussed in class about childhood amnesia in the last couple weeks, I have gained better knowledge on childhood amnesia.  I think that childhood amnesia is such an interesting topic to talk about and learn about.  As an adult, I often don’t remember certain events from my childhood, except for maybe a small handful.  Not being able to remember these memories at such a young age is a little bit frustrating, especially when family members all know of that one embarrassing memory they have of you, which you have no recall of.  I think that research being done on childhood amnesia is great because the more we’re able to enhance childhood memories, the better.  Being an adult now, that research may not be beneficial to me, but at least they’ll be beneficial to children today.  Unlike us, maybe when they’re adults, they’ll recall of that oh-so embarrassing memory of themselves that everyone else remembers. 

Link

Can Virtual Realities Help Eliminate Racism?

 

Has there ever been a time when you looked at someone differently because of their race? It is probably something we are all guilty of. Even though a large portion of us mean no harm, there are people that judge other purely based on race, and are very judgmental and hurtful when doing so. What if all of that could be eliminated? This world may be a much better place to live in.

In an article from Pacific Standard researchers decided to use virtual realities to try and reduce racial bias in people. This was all done by a research team led by Mel Slater and Tabitha Peck. They recruited 60 female college students, all light-skinned. The participants were asked to take the Implicit Association Test. This was done to bring to light any unconscious racial prejudice. The participants were then asked to leave the lab. Upon their return to the lab they entered their virtual realities. They did this by wearing a suit with sensors. In the virtual realities the participants would look into a mirror, and the reflection would show the participant as dark skinned, light skinned, or purple skinned. The research found that only participants made dark-skinned had a significant decrease in implicit racial bias. This particular study was also published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.

A similar study was done, and the findings were very similar as well. This study was titled Experiencing ownership over a dark-skinned body reduces implicit racial bias. It can be found in Science Direct. This study argues that a certain areas of the brain activate when we see someone else’s bodily state, like their skin color. When we have the same body state as someone else the regions in the brain tend not to activate. The study calls these multiple reacting regions in the brain “mirror neuron systems”. The study also explains a recent EEG study on the subject. The EEG study found that participants observing action of someone not in their racial group would have low activation in the motor cortex. When the participant observed someone in their racial group performing some sort of action the same participants have activation in the motor cortex. These variations are also true not only when a participants just sees a person of a different race, but there are also differences if they see the other person in pain. Another study has been done showing that when a person sees someone of the same race in pain they have brain reactions as if they were experiencing pain themselves. If the person sees someone of a different race they tend to have no brain reaction.

These studies believe they can give us a very uncommon first-person account of others experiences, and how we truly see others that have different outside appearances. This is something that is not usually done. If we can somehow see what others see and why they react a certain way, we can maybe change that person negative reaction or make them aware they are even reacting in such a way.

http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/experiencing-yourself-as-a-black-avatar-decreases-bias-59399

http://dj4uu9gr5z.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/?sid=EBSCO:MEDLINE&genre=article&title=Consciousness%20And%20Cognition&atitle=Putting%20yourself%20in%20the%20skin%20of%20a%20black%20avatar%20reduces%20implicit%20racial%20bias.&author=Peck%20TC&authors=Peck%20TC%3BSeinfeld%20S%3BAglioti%20SM%3BSlater%20M&date=20130901&volume=22&issue=3&spage=779&issn=10902376

Those Who Never Forget

If you had the ability to remember everything you’ve ever done, heard, or seen, would you want it? Do the advantages outweigh the potential risks to having such an ability? When thinking academically, would it be a wonderfully resourceful tool to have in order to guarantee yourself good grades? However, everyone has moments they wish to forget, wish to put behind them without ever contemplating it again. It seems normal for one to believe that having a perfectly intact memory isn’t possible, but a condition known as hyperthymesia goes against this idea.

Hyperthymesia is a neurological condition (first described by researchers from the University of California) where a person is able to remember pinpoint specific details, such as, where they were on August 12th, 2002, along with what they were wearing and what they did, what current events were happening on the given date, and the specific day of the week it was (which, in my mind, appears to be what makes the condition believable). This condition also goes by the names of the Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory and Hyperthymesia Syndrome due to the fact that the handful of people capable of this ability are only able to remember things pertaining to their own life. So far there are only 20 known people who have been diagnosed with hyperthymesia, and it is assumed that 23 year old Aurelien Hayman is the only person in Great Britain to have been born with the extraordinary condition.

“It’s like being able to access something in a filing cabinet very quickly.”

Hayman had told interviewers that there’s no special technique to recalling his past with such specificity; it’s all done subconsciously. Unlike the average human who uses retrieval from the long-term memory, which is in the right frontal lobe of the brain, it has been said that Hayman uses the right frontal lobe along with the left frontal lobe (the part of the brain in charge of language) and the occipital lobe in the back of the brain (the part of the brain in charge of storing pictures). Because of this, he is able to have an increased capacity for stored information. According to Hayman, “it’s a very visual process, there’s a sequence of images” that just seem assigned to certain dates. However, Hayman did acknowledge the fact that it is an autobiographical memory, and that it doesn’t seem to give him any advantages in schooling.

So what separates people with what appears to be exceptional memory from those with hyperthymesia? The latter do not use any tactical approaches to recalling certain details, which can be seen through Hayman. Whereas, people with just exceptional memory use tools like mnemonics to recall past events. Mnemonics are devices such as patterns of ideas, letters, or associations that aid in memory recall. It has been said that the amygdala (part in the brain that experiences emotions) is a crucial role to those with HSAM due to the fact that these individuals are evoking incidents from their past rather than using mnemonics. The Californian neurologists from the University of California explained that they believed “hyperthymestic individuals” to be able to involuntarily make associations with any date through visualizing dramatic effects of events.  However, there is speculation over whether or not this is true.

 

So would being able to have a Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory be intriguing to you? If so, maybe it’s worth noting that another individual with the condition, by the name of AJ, explained that it’s like having a bunch of memories constantly filling up your head. AJ struggles with her condition so much that she claimed that it’s hard for her to focus on the present and the future since her mind is so conscious of her past. After considering this thought, it made me realize that I would hate the possibility of my brain fighting against me being involved in the present on a daily basis. There’s also the fact that I would be able to remember events that I would possibly want to forget. This being said, I’m intrigued to know if people who are capable of blocking traumatic events could ever be diagnosed with Hyperthymesia, or if hyperthymestic individuals  (unlike AJ) are at all capable of blocking events from their mind.

Women and Men, which gender is better at multi-tasking?

Have you ever heard that women are better than men at multi-tasking? For me, it was an obvious fact that most people agreed with that usually women are outstandingly at multi-tasking and men are not. In my life, I never doubted that women were much better at multi-tasking than men. In other words, I couldn’t think of any examples where men can beat women at multi-tasking tasks. Men are known to have good skills at single-tasking and women are known to have good multi-tasking skills. However, these days, I found some exceptions to this, women that aren’t good at multi-tasking, such as my mother, men that do really well with multi-tasking, such as my boyfriend. My mother always said “Don’t talk to me while I am concentrating on cooking”, “Don’t talk to me because I am writing something down”. On the other hand, my boyfriend always say while talking in phone that he is playing computer game, and talking to his roommate as well.

I really liked to learn about attention from our cognitive psychology course, and I was excited to read and learn about multi-tasking through our text. However, since the professor didn’t talk about gender differences in multi-tasking, I separately asked the professor whether women and men are different, implying women are better than men, but I got an answer “No”. This reply gave me a shock and made me research about “Gender difference in multi-tasking”.

To cut to the point, we cannot generalize that women are better at multi-tasking than men. There are many research materials that support the idea women are superior to men at multi-tasking because the brain is different. Yet the word  “superior” can be only used in specific situations. There is one hypothesis that claims this is due to the evolution that women can keep an eye on their kids while foraging for food. Also, women are superior at finding missing items according to Fiona Macre science correspondent. There is one research article that concludes that women are better than men. They had two experiments ; in first experiment, they collected 120 women and 120 men and tested computer-based task switching paradigm to each group, and in second experiment, they  compared 47 women and men each given “paper-and-pencil” multi-tasking tests. The first experiment result was that men were slower than women when two tasks were rapidly interleaved. The second experiment’s result was that women were better at devising strategies for locating lost keys. When you watch the video below, you would see women are better at multi-tasking but specific condition like caring babies, which women usually do, or household activities that women are usually good at in general. I think this is also a reason of evolution.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcShvDO0DBg[/youtube]

 

On the other hand, the journal I found called “Gender difference in multitasking reflect spatial ability” mentioned that men outperformed women in monitoring accuracy of multiple tasks. It said the ability to coordinate multiple tasks are due to the ability to maintain and update multiple goals and the ability to coordinate spatial relations. According to this journal, we cannot generalize multi-tasking tasks by gender differences, but individual differences are also affecting multi-tasking given some conditions that may show reversed or declined gender differences because of task specific-constraints and strategies.

In short, generalizing that women’s multi-tasking skills are superior to men’s multi-tasking skills is wrong, due to individual differences in multi-tasking. This is more complex, like men and women, and there would be a lot of exceptions if we generalize. Still, it is true that women are better in multitasking in terms of household activities or scheduling and men are better in terms of spatio-temporal activities. This study made me understand well about the exceptions when I generalized about it myself. It would be hard to get rid of the bias that women’s multi-tasking skills are better than men’s as it was issued in the past and many people are interested especially in “gender differences”. I wish to inform my peers about the generalization and stereotype of this matter in hopes to eliminate some future errors.

Inattentional Blindness

As evidenced by my previous post, I have always been fascinated with the concept of blindness – all types, in fact. Since I discovered my love and interest in psychology, I have found myself to be more aware of examples of anything I learn in class or from the textbooks in everyday life, particularly examples of any kind of blindness. A couple of weeks back my friends and I got together for out weekly Tuesday dinners at Seacobeck. While one of my friends – Timmy – got up from the table to get more food, my prankster friend decided to steal his phone and stash it in my coat pocket. As a side note, my coat is black. When he came back, it took him about twenty minutes to realize his phone was gone. Once he reached that realization, he began quizzing us on where it was. I gave him three clues:

1) It’s in a deep, dark place where hidden objects often go.
2) It’s in a place of pitch blackness.
3) You’re looking right at it.
(He sat across the table from me.)

Regardless of these clues, Timmy simply could not figure out where his phone was, looking under the table, in the flag, in my black purse, and in my shoes. I was surprised that he missed the most obvious of places – my coat. I then began to wonder: “Is it simply because it’s so obvious, that he missed it?” This brought me back to our discussion of inattentional blindness, something I think Timmy perfectly demonstrated that night in Seacobeck.

An article in the Psychological Review refers to many incidents where people fail to notice stimuli appearing in front of their eyes when they are preoccupied with an attention-demanding task; the task Timmy in particular was preoccupied with was finding his missing cell phone. In this article, each study refers to incidents when people were so focused on one task, they missed another stimulus that may seem blatantly obvious to others. For example, there was an American naval submarine that slammed into a Japanese fishing vessel, killing nine crew members and students on board. When questioned, the crew in the sub all insisted that while quickly scanning the waters for enemies and other submarines, they had simply missed the fishing trawler. While this is a catastrophic example, one that certainly does not have a very clear correlation to Timmy’s search, it makes me think of how exactly he was searching for his cell phone. Instead of looking carefully and really thinking about the clues I gave him, he was scanning the area around where we were sitting very quickly, not lingering on any object. When thinking about this case of the submarine and traffic accidents where drivers missed seemingly obvious obstacles in their way, I am able to see how Timmy may have missed the obvious choice of my black coat.

Though Timmy admittingly does not have the best common sense in the world, I still don’t want to think that he simply did not even consider the fact that the phone in my pocket – in fact, the reason my friend hid the phone in my pocket was because she thought it would be the first place he would think of. As this article points out, there is a phenomenon within inattentional blindness, called implicit perception, that suggests that when people don’t consciously notice a stimuli, it still is encoded outside of their awareness, also determining their future behaviors. As Timmy did finally decide that I had it hidden somewhere in my coat (nearly half-an-hour later), this suggests that he had registered the existence of my coat in his consciousness, but didn’t access it until we practically gave away the location.

This experience of inattentional blindness in my everyday life was not only hilarious and slightly annoying, it further instilled in me an understanding of this concept, as well as a deeper understanding of the mind of my friend Timmy. I look forward to more times I can experience the concepts of cognitive psychology in real life!

Deep thinking about Artificial Intelligence in the movie “Her”

Recently, I’ve been recommending one of my friends to watch the movie “Her“. The movie “Her” is one of my favorite movies. This is due to two things: it can be interpreted in many different ways and also because the Artificial Intelligence (AI) fell in love with the main character, Theodore Twombly, which was very new and impactive idea to me. While thinking something interesting to post on the blog, I thought of some key words, such as brain, computer, memory, and intelligence.

There are a lot of AI movies; robot movies, which talk about the future world. At first, it started as pointing out people’s alienation as technology began to become increasingly highly-skilled. The imagination in these sub-genre of movies made the audience consider the possibilities of a world riddled with new technology and also the problems that followed as a result. However, our current world is already high-tech. Researchers and inventors are already making a lot of devices that were influenced from movies.

An article written by Vlad Sejnoha mentioned Deep Neural Networks (DNN) and the high accuracy of Samantha ( the invisible woman played AI role in the movie). A deep neural network (DNN) is an artificial neural network with multiple hidden layers of units between the input and output layers.  DNNs depend on ‘learning from examples’, the networks are classified with the labeled training exemplars and learn relationships between the input datas and the desired classification. Like most of you, I have not heard of DNNs as well. However, this concept is already into our thinking naturally. According to the article, DNN’s topology mimics brain structures and it is easy to understand AI by interpreting its DNN. In the movie, the AI Samantha seemed different than most computer in terms of her processing. While a computer is processed by a serial processing system, AI is processed by a parallel processing system just like our brain. AI combines symbolic processing and a machine learning system to help it adapt to unexpected situations. AI can multi-task, tasks like speech recognition, natural language understanding, speech generation, dialog, reasoning, planning, and can even learn new things. The following is an example of a neural network pattern shown in Samantha’s speech in the movie. “Sorry, nothing’s available until 9pm. Would you like another Italian restaurant in the area at about 6:30pm?” How can an AI suggest a restaurant and take into account the time, location, availability of the attendees and the type of restaurant? This is what neural network matching does; it learns the connections of each possible chance and the desired next step from trial and error. I am not going to talk about DNN deeply, but anyone who wants to learn more about it than speech recognition, can watch this easy youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2IebCN9Ht4

AI interactions with humans is not a new concept, but this movie is new in that it’s based on emotional intelligence. In the movie “The Island”, the main characters are clones but have emotions and have the self-actualization that their existences are not real. “The Island” was released in 2005, and the movie “Her” was released in 2013. It’s been 8 years and a lot of things have changed. This movie is based on the emotion Samantha feels. She also gets confused about her feelings of love, worry, happiness, sadness, just like a human. This journal provides a good debatable issue, “Is it necessary for Artificial Intelligence to have emotions like a human?” I think it is unnecessary for AI to have emotions but they can be systemized to speak a right sentence in right situation in order to make a human to feel an emotion to them. To bring it in the real world, a current AI could be without emotions but if it could make its human user experience a plethora of emotions could be a more sophisticated machine. If you have a similar or different opinion, I want you to share with me and other readers.

  To close the post, in the future, I hope nowadays’ technique could deal with unstructured information such as pre-structuring of information sources, reasoning for not only superficial, but also introspection. In addition, as the author of this journal said, we should consider AI as not just an Artificial Intelligence, but also an Amplification Intelligence.

  Lastly, this youtube video shows ten high-tech movies so if you are interested in other good hi-tech movies, watch this.

  [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ixhH48PhhI[/youtube]

Source: http://www.wired.com/2014/02/can-build-samantha-tells-us-future-ai/, wikipedia, youtube, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Artificial Intelligence: Positive or Negative change?

The human brain is undeniably something extraordinary. Weighing at just an average of 3 pounds, the brain is the mastermind behind everything that humans do. Cognitive Psychology is the study of knowledge, its creation, and its uses. Understandably enough, the brain, which is the source of all knowledge, is the most essential part of this study. Now imagine an artificially man made brain that allows non-human, non-living things, to think and feel like just like humans.

Perhaps you have wondered and wanted to know more about the information behind popular Hollywood movies such as “iRobot” starring Will Smith or “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” starring Haley Joel Osment. These types of movies feature entities or beings that were artificially created by man to possess human-like qualities such as intelligence, emotions, and feelings. Could those actually translate into and happen in real life?

Artificial intelligence is defined as the attempt to artificially create cognitive beings that can think and feel very much like humans. As technology continues to advance more and more each day, it is undeniable that the idea of creating artificial intelligence has most likely crossed the minds of scientists and the general public at least once.

As one would predict, our knowledge of artificial intelligence and the questions that will arise as we acquire more knowledge about it are highly positively correlated. That is, as our knowledge of artificial intelligence increases so will the questions we have that are left unanswered. Is it possible, or even more, is it even a good idea in the first place to create such beings that possess such subjective qualities, which are universally known to differentiate humans from other living things? What happens in instances, such as in the movie “iRobot”, when these beings start to possess more and more intelligence, which then threatens the existence of humans? Do we, as the general public, have an incorrect perceived notion of what the effects of artificial intelligence could potentially bring to us because of Hollywood movies such as “iRobot” and “Terminator”? Yes and no.

This video clip highlights the opinion of Stephen Hawking, a well-known physicist, on the exponential development of artificial intelligence.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps6CyXHWz_k[/youtube]

He mentions that although very useful, “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it would take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete.” This statement from a highly influential and respected physicist may confirm our fears of such movies. It IS possible for artificial intelligence to develop faster than the human brain ever could and for it to threaten the mere existence of the human population.

However, on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, one could not deny the advantages that artificial intelligence has contributed to the human race to help us live much more convenient lives. This TED talk given by Andre LeBlanc mentions some fears associated with artificial intelligence but highlights more all the advantages that the advancement of artificial intelligence has contributed to the human race, as well as where it is headed in the future.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH_B5xh42xc[/youtube] 

As part of the general public who is affected by technology everyday, personally, I don’t think it would end on the most drastic side of each spectrum. It is not something as simple as good or bad. Technology continues to advance everyday- yes. However, unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure whether artificial intelligence is headed in a positive or negative direction. Only time can tell.