Monday, September 22, 2014

Asa H output

Our experiments with Asa H have involved much more input than output.  Humans have a couple hundred million rods in their eyes and only a few hundred skeletal muscles.  A scientist might be able to read perhaps 100 papers for every one he writes himself.  An intelligence in the world simply gets a lot more input than the output it generates. In the lowest layers of the Asa hierarchy overt action is rare.  I typically mark those few cases that involve action in order to find them easily.
I am also especially interested in concept formation by AIs (how conceptual knowledge is formed from perceptual inputs) and have spent some time studying that. Such concepts are a kind of "output" but most of my robots can only do what Lego NXT servomotors can do. I would like to upgrade this as well as my input sensors.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Magical thinking

Is the relationship between math and physics descriptive or prescriptive? I view math as a language used to describe what I see and as a theory (or a set of theories) of patterns. At one time people thought that gods had secret names.  If you knew the name you could call up a god to do your bidding. Abracadabra. Open sesame.  Today some people think mathematical "rules" force nature to be some way, behave in some way. I think this is magical thinking.  I take math to be descriptive.  A language. It works well because we created it for this very purpose (e.g. calculus). And I think its still only an approximate description at that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On the nature of thought

Thoughts are causal of course.  Ultimately they can make muscles or servo motors do work in the world.  My theory of thought (see my web site www.robert-w-jones.com, cognitive scientist, theory of thought and mind) is an attempt to describe the details of this activity; causal changes to some type of memory/recording, physically comparing the contents of  buffers, creating and storing new memory patterns, etc.

Things that exist, what is real, changes to reality

Some things are defined by a list of (measurable) properties/attributes.  Some things are defined by their function/use.  A "chair" for example.  (A rock or a pile of hay might be used as a chair.)
What a thing is may well change over time.  From measuring things like size and shape and mass/weight we have moved on to measuring electric charge and then quantum mechanical "spin." We have new measurements with which we can describe an object. We also find new functions for things.  Water or dirt can now be used to shield us from nuclear radiation.  A computing device that once crunched numbers may now be used to manipulate symbols and conduct social discourse.
If a mind is given greater memory and more processing speed it will likely form more and different categories with which to describe its experiences and its world. It may abstract and compress and generalize less as it  may have less need to do so. In all these ways what is real changes.

Values

(most) animals move.
But which way should they move?
Choosing is the beginning of values and thought/intelligence.
Moving toward something sensed.  a primitive "drive"
Moving away from something sensed. a primitive "aversion"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The responsibility of congress

According to the U.S. constitution it is congress' job to make war, not the president's.  This is just another responsibility the republicans are shirking.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Asa H preprocessors

I have used a number of preprocessors with Asa H.  I am currently trying various (data) compressors in this role.