Thursday, August 31, 2017

Qualia again

I am reading and (mostly) enjoying Jim Holt's book Why Does The World Exist. But the discussion of qualia on pages 190 to about 195 drives me nuts. I believe that qualia are just signals produced by sensors. Its true that a computer alone can not have qualia (except in a simulated world). But a computer WITH sensors attached (and actuators too) CAN experience qualia, just like people do. Load cells could give the computer a sense of force. Photocells can give the computer a sense of light and dark. A microphone can give the computer a sense of hearing. Clocks can give a computer a sense of time. PH and salinity and sugar sensors can give a computer a (crude) sense of taste. etc., etc. Grounding via sensors accounts for qualia. One could even try to "calibrate" a computer's sensations against those of some human being. The human and the computer could observe and measure the same stimuli using their various senses (sensors). And the qualia are, in general, vector quantities, not simple scalar labeled lines.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Houston flooding

With their inadequate zoning laws and failure to address climate change Texans have made things harder for themselves. They should have voted for Al Gore when they had the chance.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Raspberry Pi

Because of the speed of its processor and its number of I/O ports I decided to add a raspberry pi 3 to Asa's fleet of Lego, Arduino, Vex IQ, and Vex EDR robots.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Go Interstellar

If the Oort cloud defines the boundary of the solar system then Voyager isn't there yet. We probably should spend more effort on something like the TAU probe or the Whipple mission to detect objects in the Oort cloud. That would be a real exploration program. (As opposed to a few humans in cislunar space.) Unless and until we find good evidence of life on Mars we might scale back the Mars efforts.

Asa H as an implementation of Minsky's "brain chain"

Each higher level of Asa H can be thought of as one of the brains in Minsky's "brain chain." (See M. Minsky, Interior grounding, reflection, and self-consciousness, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Brain, Mind, and Society, Tohoku University, Japan, 2005) The whole Asa hierarchy functions as Minsky's "knowledge-tree."

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The concepts Asa H is learning

I have put a lot of effort into giving (and identifying/naming) concepts that Asa H learns (forms) as a part of its overall "self" concept. This is important as evidence that Asa is conscious. But Asa learns many concepts that are not part of its "self" concept. Some are easy to identify/name. Things like:

bright/light --> hot         ("warming")
black/dark --> cold        ("cooling")
force --> acceleration    (Newton's 2nd law)
day --> night --> day --> etc.     where day=(hot, light) and night=(cold, dark)

It may be difficult to assign human labels (words, names) to some of the other concepts Asa forms.
In some cases these are important; examples of alternate conceptualizations of reality. But certainly not always.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Reconceptualizing and the game of Go

Google's AlphaGo AI program has developed Go game strategies that humans had not thought up despite 2000-3000 years of collective effort. This is an example of the kind of thing that I have in mind in my work with Asa H aimed at "reconceptualizing reality."

Pain localization

Asa's and the human pain systems are vectoral. For Asa one would like to have one contact sensor wherever (Lego) bricks or (Vex IQ) beams are connected. Temperature sensors can be mounted alongside contact sensors or they can be more sparsely distributed. I.e., "burns" might be a less localized sort of pain as compared with "cuts." Internal pains are literally signaled from internal sensors of either sort.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Vex IQ

The Vex IQ brain has some advantages over Lego p bricks. It has 12 I/O ports and is less expensive. One disadvantage is that Vex IQ has fewer commercial sensors available for it. This being said I have managed to hack the Vex IQ bumper switch so that I can use it with my robot pain system. Multiplexers can allow me to connect a large number of pain sensors as needed.

Some effort has been devoted to building robots using integrated Lego and Vex IQ components. I have, for instance, bolted Vex IQ plates (4X_ ) to Lego plates and Lego bricks (1X_). One can then build onto this in both directions using both Lego and Vex IQ parts.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

In times of change

Lots of us have trouble accepting change. But Asa concludes*, logically enough, that you should resist change (offer negative feedback) when things are getting worse and embrace change (offer positive feedback) when things are getting better.

* by associative learning while monitoring utility change