Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A.s.a.'s art

High up in the associative hierarchy, on long time scales, Asa's memory and extrapolation/interpolation generates stories, fiction, literature. Some of these patterns are identifiable as examples of Gozzi's 36 dramatic situations. (The Thirty-six Dramatic Situations, George Polti, Editor Co., 1917) (For example: pursuit, obtaining, daring enterprise, fatal imprudence, disaster, erroneous judgement.)  "Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity." (Rebecca West, Ending in Earnest, Books for Libraries, 1967) This may tell us something of how and why art emerges from intelligent systems.

In early experiments I taught Asa Boolean logic operations. Could a vision system allow Asa to develop a spatial logic? (Handbook of Spatial Logics, Aiello et al, Springer, 2007) Would this result in an internal picture language (Picture Language Machines, Kaneff, Academic Press, 1970) with visual art developing higher up in the hierarchical memory?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

VEX IQ robotics platform

It may be possible to use the VEX IQ robotics construction system with my pain subsystem. (Depending upon how VEX IQ robots tend to fail.) Something like the VEX clawbot IQ might involve about one hundred pain sensors. A simpler design should be possible that would reduce this number.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ground level

What is the best way to sense/define the ground/floor? An altimeter is easy but not very precise. I have placed force sensitive resistors on the foot pads of a walking Lego robot. These feel the push of the floor and the weight of the robot and any load it carries.

Education research

As a part of institutionalized learning assessment I am being asked to identify problems that the students have in my classes, measure their failure rates on these issues, find a fix, employ it, and then measure how well the fix has reduced failure rates.  To do this in a statistically sound double blind test would take years. We are being asked to cycle through all of the courses in 3 years.I do not wish to do physics education research. I have been critical of much of that work in the past and I do not see evidence that any silver bullets exist that might solve any of our problems in education.I work under capitalism. If someone really wants to improve education then they need to put some real money into the effort. I believe that fusion energy, artificial intelligence, a science of consciousness, and scientific pluralism are all topics that are more important than physics education research.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Sensory receptor nerves respond to external stimuli like light and sound. These are exteroceptor  nerves. This defines what we mean by the concept "to feel." Sensory receptor nerves can also respond to internal stimuli like blood pressure. These are interoceptor nerves. Perhaps what we call qualia are the triggering of other interoceptor nerves, nerves that respond to various other types of internal stimuli. Again, they are what we "feel."The simplest example of this might just be the state of a hidden layer in a neural network feeding back to the input layer, i.e., an Elman network.

Legacy code

I have code and printout dating back into the 1970s. Most (all?) of the oldest electronic files will no longer run but I have hard copy of many programs. I have been unable to locate a couple of thick file folders of publications on case-based reasoning which also contained the first CBR programs I wrote. I suspect that these may have been discarded by mistake a few years back when there was a remodeling that tore the outer wall off the science hall (and my office). I've written too many hundreds of programs to want to spend the time needed to preserve them all.


I have been asked about my worldview. Many of my blogs on philosophy deal with my weltanschauung, among them my blogs of  1 sept. 2012, 17 aug. 2012, 1 Jan. 2012, 17 aug. 2013, 1 dec. 2014, 26 march 2014, 13 april 2015, 20 feb. 2015, 4 oct. 2016, 15 sept, 2016, 22 april 2016, 28 may 2016, 1 june 2016, 21 july 2016, and 7 Jan. 2017.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A.s.a. H., reflexes

In Asa H, as in humans, there are typically far more input signals received as compared to output signals generated. Output predictions/generation may then occur on higher levels in the memory/concept/abstraction hierarchy, i.e. "downward causation." What outputs are generated quickly, confined to the lower level(s) of the hierarchical memory, this constitutes "reflex."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


In my 1 October 2015 blog I said: "In some cases we would like to have additional definitions for a given concept." I now find that for most named concepts I would like to have multiple examples.

Friday, May 12, 2017


I'm working to simplify my Lego robot designs. This will allow for full coverage with the pain subsystem while reducing the total number of sensors required.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Some of what's wrong in education rests with the students

1. Some students we get in physics courses should not be trying to do physics.
2. Most students should be trying to attend all of the scheduled classes.
3. Many of our students don't put enough time and effort into their classes.
4. Some students want ME to do work that THEY should be doing.
5. Students should not be expecting me to entertain them.
6. We should do things that are important because they are important, not because they are "fun."

 The paper in the April 2017 American Journal of Physics (volume 85, page 311) is a spoof but one day we may be able to objectively demonstrate that a given course TEACHES effectively* and when a given human student does poorly then it's THEIR fault.

* by having an AI take the course and learn the material successfully

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Citation analysis criticized again

I was happy to see Jeremy Berg's criticism of impact factors and their use ( 15 August 2016 and his article in Science magazine). See my own criticism (my 4 April 2016 blog for instance).

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Improving simulations

I try to do everything I can with simulators since they are faster and cheaper than real mobile robots. Simulations of sensory input are not as good as the real thing, however, and at the moment I have only a crude simulation of the pain subsystem. As I collect examples of damage with real robots I expect to record enough cases so that a simulator can use case-based reasoning to accurately predict pain inputs for simulated robots. When a sufficiently similar event occurs in the simulation a case-based reasoner will predict and apply appropriate pain signals.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reporting negative results

At a conference I attended recently I happened to see a poster describing possible means of producing some certain chemical compound. The author reported on 4 or 5 possible paths to synthesizing this compound, none of which were successful. I found this refreshing. Edison told us that its progress when you show that some scheme doesn't work the way you had thought it might.

Connection between attention and forgetting

I have discussed attention (and mechanisms for focus of attention) in a good number of these blogs. I have also employed forgetting in Asa H, the simplest sort of passive forgetting being the deleting  of cases which seldom reoccur and/or have low utility. Attention and forgetting together have an influence on the performance of Asa H in any given working environment. Perhaps I need better algorithms for forgetting.

Pursuing scientific pluralism

Scientific pluralism (R. Jones, Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., 116, 2013, pg 78) , like "native" or "indigenous science," (Native Science, G. Cajete, Clear Light, 2016) is value-laden (R. Jones, Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., 119(2), 2016, pg 249)  and encourages interdisciplinary (holistic) and applied research as well as reconceptualizations of reality (multiple points of view).