Monday, September 01, 2008

VU start

I visited the university today because of the start of colleges. Picked up most books except a few and then... start studying in the evenings and weekends.

The recent post about frozen realities is a nice one to extend further. The meaning and definition of "intelligence" is also one to think about before one calls a system "intelligent". It's used as a buzzword. As wikipedia states it:

"Intelligence (also called intellect) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, or wisdom. However, most psychologists prefer not to include these traits in the definition of intelligence." (source: wikipedia).

As with "emergence", we should not consider intelligence to be subject to one entity within a system, we should remain open enough to allow definitions where relating entities together, as part of one system. demonstrate intelligent activities. Just as with ants, it's possible with computers that interacting components are smarter than the sum of their individual parts.

The following is a current imagination and I may change my mind on it. Think of the human brain as a set of components that control motor functions and analysis / pattern recognition functions. The ability and function of each component is pre-determined through DNA, but the way how they interact with other components is to be learned. A supervisor in the brain controls through feedback mechanisms of the input sensors whether a certain desired result was achieved. The desired result is also dynamic and a pattern.

Actually, everything is a pattern of some kind. The patterns are stored in huge containers where each container has patterns of the same type. Pattern recognition and indexing sounds like a very complicated affair. For example, the smell of hot pizza is not just "pizza". There is no such smell. It's the smell of cheese, dough, hot cheese, tomato and everything else what's on there. The individual smells make up the rest. Depending how trained you are, we could still wonder whether someone can guess what's in the oven? The more information we use to construct our environment, the more senses we need to make sense of it.

We tend to automatically direct other senses for the confirmation of certain impulses. Such as looking into the oven, listening intently to some events and so forth.

The idea here is then that it sounds difficult for a single sense to function properly by itself. It's missing a lot of information to "get around". So the conjunction of patterns from different senses can be used to provide a deeper definition of the environment than a single sense can.

A very difficult thing is visual recognition and deconstruction. I don't think we're able to actually store every pixel of everything we see. Rather, I believe we store some kind of gist, a simple three-dimensional deconstruction of the image and some color features for each. This could differ from person to person of course and explains why certain people are artists and others are not :). The ability to see perspective is a very difficult one. We're able to see that, because we know that some things are larger than just what we see, thus we know something is in front of something else. Also, we strongly use shadows and tint differences to further analyze a scene.

In OpenGL, we speak of a pipeline to construct a scene. But when you look at an image, we also need to think of a pipeline for de-rasterization. Possibly, as soon as a computer is able to construct simple wireframes from simple images, we're steps closer to creating a computer that can recognize objects easier.

Whereas many people consider the definition of things equal to "naming it", this is also wrong I think. A definition of something can also be considered: "a formal recognition and method of communcation through symbolic means, such that it calls up the same pattern and recognition with another intelligent being". Thus, we need not restrict ourselves to using words. If we were telepathically endowed and could transfer our thoughts, we'd probably call that "definition" instead.

So, calling something "car" then is just a specific name for a specific generic pattern. Moreover, the specific car that one has in mind is likely different from somebody else. So the patterns we really evoke are possibly different from person to person, yet we all catch the gist of the message.

If you consider that a pattern can be associated with a term, why not consider the possibility that certain indexes can be given a certain name or list of names?

Then, intelligence becomes the ability to reason with those patterns that are similar to some extent in order to make something out of it that re-defines your reality. A certain kind of juggling and analysis on similarity, possibilities, abilities and relationships (plus defining new ones, aka learning) where certain rules exist that should not be broken. For example, most cars can't drive on water. When your car leaves, so do its tires. A car should not drive with its door open. A car should have wheels to drive.

The problem of reasoning then is how rules are embedded within this reasoning system. The patterns *are* the symbols and the names it has been given. Semi-patterns that are lightly activated form new possible paths. Is it that the path of one pattern to another forms the embodiment of a rule?

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