Thursday, March 30, 2017

Steerable Lego walkers

In order to physically ground Asa's concept of "walking" we gave it control of a Lego robot walking machine. To make this a useful agent we mount on the walker some of the devices/sensors that we wish to have mobile; cameras, solar batteries, etc. For this to be practical the walker needs to be able to turn. Dawson, et al's "strandbeest" (From Bricks to Brains, AU Press, 2010, pg 135) and Valk's "strider" (The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book, No Starch, 2010, pg 121) are possible examples.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Oppositional concepts: alternative facts

The value of retaining and exploring oppositional concepts is discussed in books like Oppositional Concepts in Computational Intelligence, Tizhoosh and Ventresca, Springer, 2008. See also my blogs of 30 January 2017 and 5 July 2016. Oppositional concept pairs can be taken to be examples of legitimate alternative facts.  (In physics an especially important example might be the fact that a photon is a wave and the fact that a photon is a particle. Again, however, I do not wish to legitimize examples which are simply outright lying.) My artificial intelligence Asa H has made use of oppositional concepts.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Intelligent agent teams

Asa H specialist agents can be organized into teams. What teams should be formed? How should they be organized? Some can probably be identified from and operate like various human industries.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dusty air

I have added a Sharp model GP2Y1010AU0F dust sensor to Asa's sensory array.

Friday, March 17, 2017


It has been difficult to give an objective definition of progress. (J. B. Bury, The Idea of Progress, Dover, 1955, L. Laudan, Progress and its Problems, Univ. Calif., 1977, M. H. Nitecki, Evolutionary Progress, Univ. Chicago, 1988) I have argued that science and intelligence are not value free. (R. Jones, Trans. Kan. Acad. Sci., 119, # 2, pg 249, 2016) Progress is then defined by continuing positive feedback observed over time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cluster concepts

Daniel Stoljar defines "cluster concepts" as "Concepts that can be associated with, and defined in terms of, a range or cluster of features." (Physicalism, Routledge, 2010, pg 233) Asa H's "vector concepts," or "cases" are then cluster concepts of a particular kind, organized hierarchically, and manipulated using vector mathematical methods.

Friday, March 10, 2017

(A certain amount of) Danger was good for you

In a benign environment an optimal survival machine might invest relatively few of its material and energy resources in thought and mind. In an extremely challenging environment there may be no opportunity to evolve a mind. The process may be just too costly to undertake. Only in an environment offering just the right mix of danger and resources will brain and mind evolve. The environment itself may then change of course. When a sea squirt adapts to its new living environment it absorbs its "brain" and gives up the (then) unnecessary act of "thinking." Intelligence is an adaptation to (an emergent specialization in) a particular range of environments, it is not always ideal/warranted.