Monday, October 15, 2018

Agent evolution, value divergence

While running an A.s.a. H. society of specialist agents, each with a vector value system,* I found that one group of agents evolved higher and higher  V1 while all other value components remained nearly unchanged. Another group of agents evolved higher and higher  V2 while all their other value components remained nearly unchanged.

* Similar to my blog of 19 Feb. 2011. The vector values of each agent having components V1, V2,...etc.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Other people contemplate scientific pluralism

“Maybe its not even possible to capture the universe in one easily defined, self-contained form...” “Perhaps the true picture is more like the maps in an atlas, each offering very different kinds of information, each spotty.” R. H. Dijkgraaf, Director, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Language, drawing attention to

Words/labels face little competition for attention compared with the many features of objects that are present in, say, visual input. Words then provide (spreading) activation to features/stimuli associated with the named categories. Language may help us with the problem of attention in complex real world environments. Otherwise, A.s.a. May require many learning passes before it averages out stray stimuli.

Monday, October 1, 2018


In The Democracy of Objects (Open Humanities Press, 2011, page 246) Levi Bryant argues that existence is binary, no object is more real than any other. In his object-oriented ontology (OOO) he believes that all entities are on equal ontological footing in a flat ontology. With A.s.a. H. I have argued for (the usefulness of) a hierarchically structured ontology. I have also argued that not all entities are equally real.

My experience with A.s.a. H. Suggests that we should not extrapolate our (mental) concepts too far. I believe that the excessive extrapolation of concepts is the source of some of philosophy's problems.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


The number and variety of sensors and actuators that A.s.a. H. Has available to it* have proven sufficient for symbol grounding** and concept formation but the present robots are best described as clumsy. We would need to deploy a larger number of sensors and actuators to address this issue.

* See, for example, my blog of 1 Oct. 2015. (note: During any given activity/experiment A.s.a. typically only makes use of a fraction of its sensors.)

** A major portion of my robotics laboratory might best be called an instrumentation lab.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Student evaluations again

While doing some cleaning out in my office I came across some of my correspondence with ESU's former vice president Payne and with the Kansas board of regents on the subject of student evaluations. (See my blog of 2 August 2018 and the paper by Uttl, et al in Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54 (2017) 22-42.)

The future of jobs

The World Economic Forum's report The Future of Jobs 2018 (Geneva, 17 Sept. 2018) states that "By 2025 more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines..."