20 Jul 2010 AI4U   » (Observer)

Seeking Is-a Functionality

Recently our overall goal in coding MindForth has been to build up an ability for the AI to engage in self-referential thought. In fact, "SelfReferentialThought" is the Milestone next to be achieved on the Road Map of the Google Code MindForth project. However, we are jumping ahead a little when we allow ourselves to take up the enticing challenge of coding Is- a functionality when we have work left over to perform on fleshing out question-word queries and pronominal gender assignments. Such tasks are the loathsome scutwork of coding an AI Mind, so we reinvigorate our sense of AI ambition by breaking new ground and by leaving old ground to be conquered more thoroughly as time goes by.

We simply want our budding AI mind to think thoughts like the following.

A robin is a bird.
Birds have wings.

Andru is a robot.
A robot is a machine.

We are not aiming directly at inference or logical thinking here. We want rather to increase the scope of self-referential AI conversations, so that the AI can discuss classes and categories of entities in the world. If people ask the AI what it is, and it responds that it is a robot and that a robot is a machine, we want the conversation to flow unimpeded and naturally in any direction that occurs to man or machine.

We have already built in the underlying capabilities such as the usage of articles like "a" or "the", and the usage of verbs of being. Teaching the AI how to use "am" or "is" or "are" was a major problem that we worried about solving during quite a few years of anticipation of encountering an impassable or at least difficult roadblock on our AI roadmap. Now we regard introducing Is-a functionality not so much as an insurmountable ordeal as an enjoyable challenge that will vastly expand the self- referential wherewithal of the incipient AI.

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