Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Electron space charge ion heating in W7-X

Work on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator experiment at the Max Planck Institute in Germany shows that ion heating during pellet injection is predominantly via the electron space charge mechanism that I proposed some years ago. (See, for example, Ind. J. Phys., 55B, pg 397, 1981.)

Limping along

A.s.a. H. has a 2 wheel drive robot which can be used to move a sensor array and/or solar panels around in its work environment. One of the 2 drive gearmotors is binding and will run in one direction but not in reverse. A.s.a. has slowly learned that it can still move the robot in 2 dimensions by using the other drive motor to turn and then both motors to move in a straight line. (Sort of a straight line. The damaged motor is binding a bit in both directions.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Components of consciousness

I am one of those who believes that what we call consciousness is not one single process.* The question then becomes how many basic processes are involved and what are they. A.s.a. H. appears to have at least 5 processes contributing to consciousness.** Attention, the contents of short term memory, is controlled by the similarity measurement. Ned Block’s “A-conscious” states result from A.s.a.’s vector memory structure. A.s.a. is aware of any sensory inputs and signals from its pain system. (Ned Block's "P-conscious" states.) A.s.a. thinks about its own thoughts when its interpolating, extrapolating, planning, and when higher level concepts or sequences manipulate lower level concepts or sequences in the hierarchical memory structure.

I do not necessarily assume that human consciousness is the same as machine consciousness. Different processes may be involved.

*See my blog of 19 October 2016 for instance.
**There is not one single A.s.a. H software program. A number of versions exist so this number may vary. There is a whole A.s.a. H. hardware and software ecosystem.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

More robots

I've bought a few more robot kits for A.s.a. H.* That way I shouldn't have to teardown old robots every time I want to build something different. Some of the oldest (hardware and software) must be retired, of course. (Some of which is quite old.** See my blog of 25 March 2019.)

* Including several making use of the BBC micro:bit.
** For example BASIC stamp and RCX hardware and A.s.a. F. software.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

AIMA 4

I've ordered a copy of the new fourth edition of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (due out by the end of the year).* I'm curious to see how traditional/mainstream AI researchers view what progress has been made in the last 10 years (i.e., since the third edition of AIMA came out). The very first edition of AIMA came out just about the time I was working with A.s.a. F. 1.0. It was billed as a book on intelligent agents. The "modern approach" was "agents."

* The price is outrageous, 200 $US.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Concepts in Einstein's general approach to physical theory

For Einstein named concepts are related to sense experiences.* The notion of  "dog" (der begriff hund) can correspond (entsprechen) to the many (mannigfaltigkeit) immediate (unmittelbar) experiences that one has while saying (or hearing) the word "dog."** This is exactly how A.s.a. H. learns concepts and the words that denote them.***

*Holton, The Scientific Imagination, Harvard U. Press 1998
**Feinberg, Zwei Kulturin, Springer 1998
***Jones, Trans. Kan. Acad. Sci., vol. 120, page 108, 2017 and chapter 1 of my book Twelve Papers.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Exploring agency

Most of my experiments with A.s.a. H. have had a fairly narrow focus. In some experiments I was trying to give A.s.a. concepts that corresponded to human vocabulary words* or some set of semantic primitives.** On other occasions we were interested in finding Newton’s laws or trying to induce the formation of new nonstandard physical concepts. (I.e., be original/creative)

 A.s.a. H. exhibits agency*** to the extent that it operates autonomously. Perhaps we should leave an A.s.a. agent alone in a world**** for a time.

* For example, Sonja Lang's Toki Pona.
** For example, Anna Wierzbicka's semantic primes, see Imprisoned in English, OUP, 2014.
*** See, for example, Hugh McCann, The Works of Agency, Cornell U. Press, 1998.
**** or THE world? Or a piece of THE world?