Thursday, March 27, 2014

How life may have begun

One way in which life may have begun from nonliving chemicals is presented at: (Based on the work of Jack Szostak.)

Program reuse

Often times a (AI) code library is used as a source of snippets from which you build new programs (see my blog of 20 Feb. 2014) But sometimes you can reuse whole programs. (either your own or those you've collected from other people) For example, in order to perform an experiment in forgetting I was once able to edit a few lines of  (someone else's) neural network program and get the results I was interested in.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The wave function and the nature of reality

I am reading The Wave Function edited by Ney and Albert (Oxford U. Press, 2013).  It is mostly a debate between those who believe in an ontology involving particles and waves in 4 space and those who prefer quantum fields in (a much larger) configuration space (or vectors in a Hilbert space).  Of course one could also believe in BOTH (i.e. www.robert-w-jones, philosopher, quantum mechanical dualism).  And one need not think that all entities in an ontology are all equally "useful" or equally "valid" or equally "true."  (see my blogs of 17 Aug. 2013 and 12 Sept. 2013)  My Asa H artificial intelligence does not make such an assumption about the concepts it forms/evolves.  Ontologies used by other artificial intelligence projects (expert systems) typically contain entities of various degrees of usefulness, validity, truth. Process metaphysics might complicate matters even more.(Process Metaphysics, N. Rescher, SUNY Press, 1996)  Ontologies may have to change over time just as they do in Asa H and in humans.

More on X-ray pulses

I have observed tiny X-ray emitting spots in electron beam-plasma discharges operated at a few kilovolts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

X-ray pulses from glow discharges

Alexander Karabut has reported pulses of 1.5 keV X-rays from glow discharges operated at <=0.5 Amps, <=10 Torr, and 500-2500 Volts. (Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, Jean-Paul Biberian, ed., World Scientific, 2006, pg 253). This should not be a surprise.  One can expect dust particles impacted by a 500-2500 Volt electron beam to produce such X-ray pulses.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Amplified teaching

One hopes that when you teach teachers (as we frequently do at ESU) you will reach a larger number of people.  In my case I try to present things like the nature of knowledge, the nature of science, how to do research, how to keep lab notes, etc. etc.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How many layers should/will Asa H have?

My code samples of Asa H 2.0 light (blogs of 10 Feb. 2011 and 14 May 2012) are for a single layer in the hierarchy.  These layers are then connected one to another by something like the code in my 26 Aug. 2013 blog (That blog assumes layers write to or read from data files. This I've done if I want to keep a record of these calculation steps and the categories being formed. More direct connection is possible, of course, and I've done that too.)
 But how many layers are needed?  I've used as many as at least 9 layers in various experiments to date.  (I may have used more than 9, I'd have to look back and see.  I recall using at least 9 layers on occasion.) The first or second layer might detect edges, for example, the next might detect lines at various orientations, the next might sense corners, the next might detect simple shapes, the next might detect eyes, or other features, then faces, then complete creatures, etc. etc. How deep should deep-learning be?
Similarly, how big a pattern can each layer learn? (For example, what should TMAX be set to in the code from my 10 Feb. 2011 blog?) In many of my experiments TMAX=5 was used.  Possibly TMAX=10 would be better. In more advanced experiments I have sometimes let TMAX grow during a run.
These questions are related to the issue of what curriculum should be provided as training for Asa.  What should an AI learn (ANY AI, any machine learning algorithm), and in what order? This was less of a problem if the AI is intended to operate in a limited domain.  The question becomes more important if the AI is to operate in the "real world."

Monday, March 10, 2014

More iphone issues

In the last 3 months I have had to hard reset my iphone 5c twice.  Both times the battery had been drained overnight while the phone was not in use. (I use the phone for calls, texting, as a watch and pocket calculator, and for light web searching and reading email.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Categories and fuzzy causality

Much of our description of the world is in terms of categories, not individuals.  If you see a red light you stop.  If you see a green light you go.  The exact shade of green or red doesn't matter.  It just has to be red.  In a computer anything in the range of 0 to 0.8 Volts is considered a "0".  Anything in the range from 2.0 to 5.3 Volts is considered a "1".  Its the categories that matter.  In quantum theory we talk in terms of the probability that an electron is in the range between x and x + dx.  That's all we can say about its position.  When you measure anything you'd like to have an average and a standard deviation, not just a single measurement.  Reproducibility is then not as simple as one might have thought.  Two measured numbers are "the same" (the same category) if they are within a standard deviation or so of each other. We do not, however, use this as an excuse for being careless or lazy. Students find this difficult.  It's not as simple as they would like it to be.

Proposed US fusion funding cut

The new US federal budget calls for a cut in DOE fusion energy funding of 17.6%.