General Knowledge Machine Research

General Knowledge Machine Research. Link picked-up from comp.ai.philosophy
Also Generic Artificial Consciousness (GAC) and MindPixel projects. Unfortunately statistically based on the “average” mind – collecting concensus from web contributors – but interesting. Mindpixel is overtly competitive with CYC.
(Mindpixel’s featured book is Wolfram’s – New Kind of Science.)

Thinking With Meat

Quote from Charles Richmond in the Thinking with Meat thread on comp.ai.philosophy
QUOTE
I believe that we should work harder to get people to think.
I heard a comedian say once that he thought the little tags on hair-dryers that say “DO NOT USE WHILE SHOWERING” should be removed. His reasoning was: If you are stupid enough to use the hair dryer in the shower, then the world would be better off without you.
UNQUOTE
Example of the humour thread, but interesting how this little thread has grown almost into a flame war. Jim Balter got into a US attitude generalisation about litigious society aspects – which he is defending as not particularly American (anymore). Jim’s point is being missed I feel. The serious thread is the positive evolution in knowledge when people learn from exposure to risks, rather than being protected from them – see earlier post on BBC story on boringly safe school playgrounds and Dutch experiments without road traffic priority signs. Also buried in this thread are some interesting thoughts on causal relationships limitations in programming AI.

[Terry Bisson’s “Thinking Meat” original.]

Links Update

I’ve captured several more important links, originally embedded in the blog, now in the sidebar. Sasha’s is completely new to me and quite inspiring. These are rich links, though not necessarily all frequently updated blogs.

(Still need to sort out old archives and link to new pages, so much search engine traffic is hitting the archives from the old weblog pages, and those people will not find any link to the new.)

Ten Little Niggers – Another Radio 4 Gem – A spokesman for the UK Campaign for Racial Equality was being interviewed yesterday about an experienced, competent, respected nursing manager who had resigned under pressure after jokingly making a “ten little niggers” remark about late arrivals at a committee meeting. Counter intuitively, the CRE spokesman (with an “ethnic” accent) was insisting that the resignation was inappropriate and was “political correctness gone barmy” and also that “we all needed to re-learn the place of humour” in communication. Refreshing stuff. Many a true word.

The Wunderkind has no Clothes

The Wunderkind has no Clothes. (Via Jorn again). Quote from Heinz Pagels in a Wired review by Steven Levy of Stephen Wolfram’s meisterwerk “A New Kind of Science“.
“Most scientists will find it difficult to believe that there’s a better way to do science.” OTT, unscientific, but intriguing thesis based on complexity underlying all phenomena, and the simple quantum effects and algorithms underlying all knowledge and computation. Hits so many of my threads that this looks like a must read. My conclusion is in here somewhere already – “scientific method” – objective inductive rational logic – is effectively useless for any real life processes beyond simple controlled experiments – life is just too complicated (or in Wolfram’s words – just complex enough.) “Anything can be done on three or four lines of code !” Too radical to ignore. (Interesting angle on humour too.)

Marvellous Marvin’s Music, Mind & Meaning

Music, Mind & Meaning. Michael brought this Minsky paper to my attention last night. (It’s actually a chapter from The Neuropsychology of Music, ed Manfred Clynes, Plenum, NY 1981). The paper itself is also available on line at Marvin’s site.