Thursday, June 28, 2018


As with temperature, too large a force or acceleration should probably also be registered as a pain by A.s.a. H. How high the threshold value should be set would depend on the bot and application.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Conducting bricks

Pantheon and BRIXO offer electrically conducting toy building bricks that are compatible with LEGO. I have ordered a few to see if they would help with (speed up) the construction of A.s.a.'s pain system.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


K’NEX pieces can be used when building robots and are compatible with A.s.a.’s pain subsystem. Several connectors are available for use between K’NEX and LEGO. I have not found many uses for K’NEX, however, except perhaps for bumpers or “roll cages.”

Syllabi for training an AI

For many years I have stressed the importance of the syllabi I need in order to be able to successfully train A.s.a. H.* I have felt that the field of AI research has spent too little time and effort on such topics. It looks to me like some of the problems that IBM’s Watson program is having is of this sort. (Though excessive PR hype is another problem they have.)

Specialist training for humans typically begins as late as college and graduate school. Should specialist AIs share the same syllabi for their early training or should these diverge sooner?

*A.s.a. H.’s abstraction hierarchy contributes to the importance of this.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Attention to words

Natural language plays a role in attention. The words that I have taught A.s.a. H. are reliably correlated with the categories/concepts that they label/name. (See my blog of 1 Oct. 2015.) They are salient features for the objects/concepts that they name.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Robot size

Many of us favor bench scale experiments. Large robots are more expensive and may damage themselves as well as their surroundings. There is no need for anything larger than the iRobot Create. On the other hand our robots must be large enough to transport sensors and such things as solar panels. Something the size of  a Pololu 3Pi could carry the various sensors from the Arduino sensor kits but are too small to transport larger sensors like a Geiger counter tube. A society of robots might be of a few different sizes but in this general range.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Criticizing capitalism once again

In capitalism workers are not paid what they're owed. "Although productivity is growing steadily in almost all areas of the economy, workers are required to work as hard as ever. They do not benefit from the increase in productivity. So, we must ask, where do the profits go? Evidently not to the people to whom they are owed, i.e. the workers." (W. Ertel, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, 2nd edition, Springer, 2017, pg.13)
Capitalist economics is unsound because, among other things, it's model of human rationality is invalid. " such theory of our common-sense intuitions about anything can be constructed...The same story applies in economics...This programme, for all its mathematical elegance, has also foundered." ( N. Chater, The Mind Is Flat, Allen Lane, 2018, pg 32)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Some metacognition

A.s.a. H.’s memory cases include those actions that Asa takes. In addition to actions taken in/on the world, using servos, Asa’s actions may include time spent doing deduction, simulating, extrapolating,  searching memory, etc. So when Asa interpolates and extrapolates using these cases it does a certain amount of thinking about thinking. This occurs on multiple levels of the Asa H hierarchical memory, at different levels/degrees of abstraction.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Primitive concepts

The empiricists held that all concepts are definable in terms of perceptual primitives. A.s.a. H.’s sense of light, temperature, and force, signals that are the outputs of sense organs, might be examples. In the case of humans, however, some primitive concepts may have already involved innate computation, preprocessing if you will. Infants have an innate sense of heights for example. Similarly, A.s.a.’s IR or ultrasonic distance sensors do some innate preprocessing in order to compute a measure of near or far.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cognitive style

A.s.a. H.’s cognitive style can be changed by:
Choice of 1, 2, or N dimensional memories, or a mix of several
Choice of similarity measure, or a mix of them
Choice of extrapolators and interpolation methods
Amount of short term memory employed
Amount and kind of self monitoring
Setting of various rate constants
Number of agent specialties