The steppingstone principle - Deepstash

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Computers Evolve a New Path Toward Human Intelligence | Quanta Magazine

The steppingstone principle

The steppingstone principle

It goes beyond traditional evolutionary approaches. It explains innovation. Instead of optimizing for a specific goal, it embraces the creative exploration of a diverse population of solutions.

The steppingstone’s potential can be seen by analogy with biological evolution: feathers likely evolved for insulation and only later became handy for flight.

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Safe To Forget

As machines become increasingly capable, along with computer memory, power and space being abundantly available, our brains are in a transition phase.

Earlier we had to remember a lot, do cal...

Information In Your Head

As technology advances and the internet gets dramatically more powerful, the need to retain information in our heads diminishes.

Google and other search engines which deploy AI, work as our 'memory partners' and provide us access to most of the human knowledge.

Peer-To-Peer Memory Networks

Our ancestors had a manual 'peer-to-peer' memory network to pass on knowledge to the future generations; it wasn't reliable but worked for a long time.

Now we believe AI is better and more objective to provide us with information, which might not be the case.

TikTok

TikTok is reportedly 500 million users strong. It’s been a while since a new social app got big enough to make nonusers feel they’re missing out from an experience.

TikTok is an app for...

TikTok "tools"
Video creators have all sorts of tools available.
  • Filters as on Snapchat.
  • The ability to search for sounds to score your video.
  • It provides extensive reasons and prompts.
  • Hashtags play a large role as a functional organizing principle. 
  • It nudges you and makes it easy to come up with material to post.
  • Users are encouraged to engage with other users in two ways: Through "response" videos and through "duets" where a user replicates a video and add themselves alongside.
Fundamentally different

TikTok has stepped over the point between the familiar self-directed feed and experience based on algorithmic observation and inference. When you open the app, you don't see a feed of your friends, but a page called "For You" - It's an algorithmic feed based on videos you've interacted with or just watched.

It's not full of people you know or things you've explicitly told it you want to see. It is constantly learning from you and builds up a model of what you tend to watchIn short, it is like an Instagram centered entirely around its "Explore" tab.

Human Evolution

Evolution is a gradual change in the DNA of a species over many centuries, occurring by natural selection when traits created by genetic mutations promote survival or reproduction in an organism.

Stretch Genes
  • Human beings adapt to their environments genetically, over a period of time. 
  • Developing countries having populations with no access to proper health care continue to survive and thrive. 
  • In countries where infectious disease outbreaks have occurred in the past, survivors develop a natural resistance to the disease and pass it on to their offspring. 
  • People living in higher altitudes develop a mutated gene that increases blood oxygen content, resulting in better survival in the next generation.
Our Diet

What we consume or don't consume influences our genes. Example: Countries where milk isn’t taken commonly, develop lactose intolerance and other digestive problems.


Our Ultra-processed and super-unhealthy diets are also contributing to genetic adaptation, with studies showing changes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The upcoming result of this mutation of DNA is uncharted territory and will be more fully understood in the coming decades.