About Matthias J.

Bio

I started to learn programming at about 13 years of age because I thought that computers can get a lot smarter than me when I instruct them how. More than twenty years after that, I am a professional developer. However, the work that I find most exciting takes place in my spare time. It is my hobby to develop Artificial Intelligence programs. My ideas are sometimes quite creative and unique. I try to find new approaches and viewpoints to outsmart professional AI developers. My way is probably the "crooked road" that will never lead to perfection, but perhaps to something that no one else has yet thought of. I am passionate and usually optimistic about the future and want to take my part in making it real.

Languages

English, German

Areas of Expertise

Java, Programming, Computers, Web, Apple/Mac computing, Cognitive science, Artificial Intelligence, Creative thinking

An idea worth spreading

AI computer systems can help us organize our communal life on a global scale. The bad Hollywood vision of a merciless computer overlord misses the point: Computers are different than humans, and they can help us, rather than being interested in enslaving us. When state affairs can be predicted more exact by computers than by humans, politics will discover AI systems as indispensable tools. I hope that in the future, political decisions will be based less on intuition and clever marketing, but more on accurate predictions and scientifically powered data.

I'm passionate about

Artificial Intelligence for fun & profit, evolutionary algorithms, futuristic visions, computer games, blogging and the global web community, this fresh modern strangeness that makes a difference

Universities

Universitat Osnabrück

Talk to me about

Artificial Intelligence, evolutionary algorithms, computer games, the future of computing, philosophy, Java programming, modern scripting languages

People don't know I'm good at

(Natural) languages, web design (and visual design in general), making music

My TED story

I cannot remember how I got to the first TED video, but since then, I was so fascinated that I watched all of them and always keep myself up-to-date on TED.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

36815
Matthias J. Déjà
Posted about 6 years ago
Julia Sweeney: Letting go of God
Don, in order to answer your question, I just had a look at the talk and noticed that this actually is not Julia's complete "Letting go of god" program. The parts that I was referring from come later. It is when she actually lets go of god. This is not just funny, it also has its sad side. When writing my comment, I did not realize that the TED talk does not include that part. Sorry for that, I will update my initial comment. Regarding your comment on "conversion", I see it much the same way as you. I just put "conversion" in quotes for the sake of brevity. I guess I am not quite as cautious or maybe even correct as you. When asked, I will tell anyone about the benefits of atheism, very plainly, leaving it up to the other person to decide if that is "just my opinion" or if there is something more generic to it. I will also criticize religion, although I try to make sure that there can come something positive out of it.
36815
Matthias J. Déjà
Posted about 6 years ago
Brian Cox: What went wrong at the LHC
There should be cheerleaders dancing for the LHC, screaming "Go, go, go, hadrons! Help the scientists find the Higgs!". Exactly why is there no big party, also broadcast on national TV, with all the big stars and rock bands, when the LHC resumes its operation? There is a great lack of cultural embrace for our scientist superheroes. I am not absolutely sure, but I think most of them would be better role models for children. Party!
36815
Matthias J. Déjà
Posted about 6 years ago
Julia Sweeney: Letting go of God
This talk by Julia Sweeney triggered a very emotional response in me, very different from other talks like Dawkins' that mostly trigger a reasonable response in me. I am very grateful to Miss Sweeney for sharing her story and her feelings, and for being able to explain them so vividly. I can relate to her feelings, and I can identify much of them with my own "conversion" to atheism. (edit: Thanks to Don's comment below, I noticed that the TED talk of Julia is not the complete "Letting go of god" program. However, I thought it was complete when I was writing the comment. Because important parts of the full program are missing, my comment does not make much sense when interpreted only with the shortened TED talk in mind. I was referring to the whole program, which I had once heard as an audio book.)
36815
Matthias J. Déjà
Posted about 6 years ago
Julia Sweeney: Letting go of God
"You are wilting away as time moves forward. Does this not concern you?" Having to die is something that concerns everybody. But look at the way that religion relieves you of this concern - it just tells you: "You won't die, rest assured my friend. No, after your death, you will come into an endless paradise, and everything will be absolutely okay for the rest of eternity." This claim is made without any proof. To my mind, this would be a claim that could use quite a lot of backing up, because it is not trivial. Does that not concern you? Does it not sometimes occur to you that this sounds a lot like wishful thinking? Where exactly is the difference between wishful thinking and religious belief in immortality? Is it just that you know SO hard that religion is true? Do you really KNOW it? Or is it not so much knowing, but more like wanting to believe?
36815
Matthias J. Déjà
Posted about 6 years ago
Richard Dawkins: Militant atheism
I sometimes read statements like: "The atheists are so arrogant." Actually, the only unifying trait amongst all atheists is that all of them do not believe in a divine entity of some kind. Apart from that, there is no further resemblance between all atheists. "They" are not arrogant, "they" are not un-arrogant, "they" are not blonde, "they" are not even two-armed and two-legged. So, saying that "atheists are arrogant" is not even wrong, it's just the uttering of a (pretty stupid) prejudice. It says far more about the person saying it than about atheists. I think the catch here is trying to see atheists as another, probably hostile, religious group. It seems to me that being un-religious has no place in religious thinking. Is it really so hard to accept that there are people out there who do not believe just for the fun of believing?
36815
Matthias J. Déjà
Posted about 6 years ago
Eric Lewis: Chaos and harmony on piano
I would absolutely *love* to understand this music, because I suspect it must be beautiful. And I really enjoyed his other TED performance, "rocking the jazz world". However, I don't "get" it this time. I know that I am not deaf to musical beauty because I listen to music every day, and it is very important to me. It's mostly rock music though. Well, does anyone maybe have inspiration for me in regards to how I could "train my ear" to understand this kind of music? I hope that this does not sound stupid, but I have the feeling that I am missing something here.