All posts by M Harris

Book review tool now on BMAI site

There’s now a book review tool on this site. To create a book review, login and use one of the following methods:

  1. Hover your cursor over the word New a the top of the page (after logging in) and, from the drop-down menu, select Book Review. Create your book review and save it as you would a usual post.
  2. In the left column of links, hover your cursor over the Book Reviews link and, from the pop-out menu, select New. Create your book review and save it as you would a usual post.
  3. Please notice there are different fields than those presented for a regular post. You can identify yourself as the reviewer, pick a subject, add tags (unfortunately not linked to the set of tags we have for posts — I’ll look for a solution for that), add an ISBN, etc.
  4. If you want to add an image, the options for doing that are accessible from the editing menu (Add Media). Place your cursor where you want the media to appear and click Add Media.

I can demonstrate how to use this feature at a meeting if anyone would like more guidance.

A personal testimony to neuroplasticity

A member of one of my online writing communities posted this interesting personal article on his recovery following a serious concussion. This quick read illustrates the subjective experience of being aware your brain is malfunctioning and witnessing recovery from the inside.

Brain’s facial-recognition mechanism revealed

Caltech researchers have identified the brain mechanisms that enable primates to quickly identify specific faces. In a feat of efficiency, surprisingly few feature-recognition neurons are involved in a process that may be able to distinguish among billions of faces. Each neuron in the facial-recognition system specializes in noticing one feature, such as the width of the part in the observed person’s hair. If the person is bald or has no part, the part-width-recognizing neuron remains silent. A small number of such specialized-recognizer neurons feed their inputs to other layers (patches) that integrate a higher-level pattern (e.g., hair pattern), and these integrate at yet higher levels until there is a total face pattern. This process occurs nearly instantaneously and works regardless of the view angle (as long as some facial features are visible). Also, by cataloging which neurons perform which functions and then mapping these to a relatively small set of composite faces, researchers were able to tell which face a macaque (monkey) was looking at.

These findings seem to correlate closely with Ray Kurzweil’s (Google’s Chief Technology Officer) pattern-recognition theory of mind.

Scientific American article

BMCAI library file (site members only)