Friday, February 28, 2014


Recently I was watching Closer to Truth on PBS.  When the question of god comes up my usual reply is simply: "Such extraordinary beliefs would REQUIRE extraordinary evidence." (Carl Sagan)   On Closer to Truth the discussion was centered around the question of could god be outside of space and time.  Since extra dimensions are now quite acceptable in theoretical physics god could exist outside of space and time by existing in one or more such extra dimensions.  A god could have "duration" outside of space-time if one of the extra dimensions were time-like.  A god could have extension outside of space-time if one or more of the extra dimensions were space-like.  It has been suggested that gravity is weak because it leaks out of our space-time into extra dimensions.  Similarly forces might exist whereby a god could act on our space-time from outside.  Be it religion or be it physics: Such extraordinary beliefs would require extraordinary evidence.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Corky bot

The students of the ESU "robotics club" are going to try to repair the Corky robot:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

AI code library

In order to speed program development and coding I keep a library of code snippets, generic algorithms, etc. including:

finite state machines
string pattern matchers
cellular automata
speech recognition code
least squares fitting
digital control systems
regression analysis
Markov models
semantic networks
various neural network algorithms
various expert system inference engines
fuzzy logic systems
various learning algorithms
optimization algorithms
interpolation algorithms
other statistical algorithms
natural language systems
interfacing and bot code
genetic algorithms
etc., etc.

Some of these I wrote myself, many others I have collected from books, journals, and the web.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Computer lab 2014

A computer lab isn't a room or a building any more.  Worldwide, there are ~42% tablets, ~33% laptops, and ~25% desktop computers (my own distribution is also close to this).  So ~75% of computers are highly mobile.  Nowadays a "computer lab" is simply a (decentralized) set of hardware, software, and documentation (see my blog of 17 Dec. 2012).  At any given time my computer lab is distributed across 5 or 6 rooms that I'm working in.  The scanner, printer, server, router, modem, etc. are in one fixed location, however.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Emergence again?

In capitalism humans have become mere disposable, replaceable machinery (see Marx) and corporations are people (US Supreme Court, 2010).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

AMBR, associative memory-based reasoning

Associative memory-based reasoning is a good four word description of my Asa AI so I recently bought a copy of Alexander Petrov's new book by the same name (Associative memory-based reasoning, A. Petrov, LAP Lambert, 2013).  I also have a copy of Petrov's PhD thesis which is partially about AMBR (A Dynamic Emergent Computational Model of Analogy-making, New Bulgarian Univ., 1998). Asa also does analogies, so that was also of interest.  Where my Asa programs are examples of "numerical AI" Petrov's AMBR programs are a more traditional symbolic/rule-based AI. There doesn't appear to be anything I can directly adapt and use.  Once again two people can be trying to do the same things but in very different ways.


Christof Koch believes that "Consciousness is just brainwide sharing of information that is in the memory buffer." "It is the content of this short-term memory buffer that we become conscious of." "...broadcasting information from this buffer to the rest of the brain is what renders it conscious." (Science, vol. 343, 31 Jan 2014, pg 487)  A blackboard architecture (Blackboard Systems, Iain Craig, Ablex, 1995) would then be a good approach to computer consciousness. (With a rather small blackboard.)  "Deja vu all over again." (see my 29 June 2011 blog)

Happy 50th birthday BASIC

Dartmouth BASIC was first run in early 1964.  Happy 50th birthday BASIC.  Because of its combination of power and extreme simplicity BASIC may well be the best programming language. (But not best for everything.)
See, Why Johnny can't code by David Brin, also,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Conversational AI

It is quite difficult to give Asa H natural language capabilities. (, book, paper 1)  I have managed to establish a vocabulary of about 200 words/concepts including:

hear     sound     speak    word     temperature     hot     cold     feel     touch     see     light     dark     color    yellow     green     blue     red     black      time     day     night     direction     north     south     acceleration     left       right     front     back     turn     top     rise     bottom     lower     arm     hand     joint     rotate     finger     grasp     hold     drop     body     move     action     fast      slow     stop      start     collision      damage     hard       soft      flexible     range      near       far      distant      side     retreat     push      carry      on     air      wind     open      close      ground      look      work      rest     wait    home      nest     health     hunger     feed     recharge     mouth     person     head     eye     ear     leg     pain     bad     object

(grounded as described in my blogs of 6 and 12 March 2013, 1 April 2013, and 29 Jan. 2014)  This is just sufficient to permit conversations with Asa in simple pidgin english. It is hoped that Asa can then grow its vocabulary naturally from this starting point.