Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brockman I 145
Universe/artificial intelligence/Chris Anderson: We live in a world of countless gradients, from light and heat to gravity and chemical trails (chemtrails!). Water flows along a gravity gradient downhill, and your body lives on chemical solutions flowing across cell membranes from high concentration to low.
Brockman I 146
clients to form molecules. Our own urges, such as hunger and sleepiness, are driven by electrochemical gradients in our bodies. And our brain’s functions, the electrical signals moving along ion channels in the synapses between our neurons, are simply atoms and electrons flowing “downhill” along yet more electrical and chemical gradients. As I sit here typing, I’m actually seeking equilibrium states in an n-dimensional topology of gradients.
Brockman I 147
Problem: However, this is too simplistic. The limits of gradient descent constitute the so-called
local-minima problem (or local-maxima problem, if you’re doing a gradient ascent). >Fitness landscape/Kauffman. (>Local minimum).
Solution/Anderson: (…) you either need a mental model (i.e., a map) of the topology, so you know where to ascend to get out of the valley, or you need to switch between gradient descent and random walks so you can bounce your way out of the region.


Anderson, Chris “Gradient Descent” in: Brockman, John (ed.) 2019. Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI. New York: Penguin Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Ander I
Chris Anderson
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More New York 2006

Brockman I
John Brockman
Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI New York 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-09-15
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