Working from home with a fairly competent head cold assaulting me above the neck. Will be working through my reading backlog to feed you all some links...

(Updated throughout the day.)

Robot cognition requires machines that both think and feel (Aeon)

Pretty unsurprising if you look at emotions as a quick response system of evolutionarily-developed heuristics that supplements more deliberative mental systems.

Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor? (Eric Jonas & Konrad Körding)

This is one of my all-time favorite papers because it critically evaluates the "how" we know something by testing the instruments by which we claim to extract meaning. In this case, Jonas & Körding identified that the complexity and lack of testable neuroscience hypothesis (in an experimental sense), leads to a lot of implicit faith that the methods are correct. So the took classic video games (Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and Pitfall), complex systems that embody meaning-laden processes in electronic form and applied contemporary techniques from neuroscience to determine in cases where a lack of data is not an issue and we possess perfect and complete structural information (a ground truth), whether modern techniques can extract the meaningful higher level behaviors and meanings starting just from the raw circuits.

The discussion at Hacker News provides some interesting takes on the paper as well.

I've been fortunate to know Körding through the machine learning work I've done at Northwestern, and he's one of the brightest and best critical thinkers (in a skeptical, not Marxist, sense) I've had the opportunity to know and learn from.

Dangerous, growing, yet unnoticed: the rise of America's white gangs (The Guardian)

Interesting journalism on an underreported phenomenon.

Image credit: Melvin the Sad...(ish) Robot (Kickstarter)

This post will be updated throughout the day with other links I find interesting.

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