Recent blog entries for Flanneltron

Cognitive Abstraction Manifolds

A few days ago I started thinking about abstractions whilst reading Surfaces and Essences, a recent book by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander. I suspect efforts like Surfaces and Essences, which traverse vast and twisted terrains across cognitive science, are probably underrated as scientific contributions. But first, let me briefly introduce the idea-triggering tome. Surfaces […]

Syndicated 2014-07-20 02:14:57 from SynapticNulship

On Rehacktoring

For at a least a year now, I’ve been using the term “rehacktor,” a portmanteau of “refactor” and “hack.” Although I came up with it on my own, I was not surprised that googling it resulted in many hits. Perhaps we are witnessing the convergent evolution of an urgently needed word. My definition was at […]

Syndicated 2014-05-07 03:41:52 from SynapticNulship

On That Which is Called “Memory”

Information itself is a foundational concept for cognitive science theories. But the very definition of information can also cause issues, especially when the term is used to describe the brain “encoding” information from the senses without any regard for types of information and levels of abstraction. Some philosophers are concerned with information that has meaning […]

Syndicated 2014-04-20 01:32:58 from SynapticNulship

Polymorphism in Mental Development

Adaptability and uninterrupted continuous operations are important features of mental development. An organism that can’t adapt enough is too rigid and brittle—and dies. The environment will never be exactly as expected (or exactly the same as any other previous time during evolution). Sure, in broad strokes the environment has to be the same (e.g. gravity), […]

Syndicated 2014-03-10 03:55:31 from SynapticNulship

Heterarchies and Society of Mind’s Origins

Ever wonder how Society of Mind came about? Of course you do. One of the key ideas of Society of Mind [1] is that at some range of abstraction levels, the brain’s software is a bunch of asynchronous agents. Agents are simple but a properly organized society of them results in what we call “mind.” […]

Syndicated 2014-02-04 07:09:05 from SynapticNulship

Evaluating Webots

I’m trying to find a better simulator than Breve for robots and 3D physics world creation. I have been examining the Webots simulation environment. It seems pretty useful since I could write controllers in C++ and it comes with several robot models out of the box. And I like the scene graph (or “scene tree” […]

Syndicated 2014-02-04 05:46:50 from SynapticNulship

Hyping Nonsense: What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Turns On Us?

The user(s) behind the G+ account Singularity 2045 made an appropriately skeptical post today about the latest Machines-versus-Humans “prediction,” specifically an article “What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Turns On Us” about a new book by James Barrat. As S2045 says: Don’t believe the hype. It is utter nonsense to think AI or robots would ever […]

Syndicated 2014-01-24 02:45:20 from SynapticNulship

2013: Postmortem

This is a personal postmortem (aka retrospective), not a report on the world at-large. What Went Right I accomplished several things of a wider diversity than I did in 2012, particularly new-to-me activities. Highlights: Sky-dived for the first time Went outdoor top-rope rock climbing for the first time Submitted two artificial intelligence papers to conferences/symposia, […]

Syndicated 2014-01-20 00:28:55 from SynapticNulship

Growing Robot Minds

One way to increase the intelligence of a robot is to train it with a series of missions, analogous to the missions (aka levels) in a video game. In a developmental robot, the training would not be simply learning—its brain structure would actually change. Biological development shows some extremes that a robot could go through, […]

Syndicated 2014-01-12 04:13:07 from SynapticNulship

Content/Internalism Space and Interfacism

Whenever a machine or moist machine (aka animal) comes up with a solution, an observer could imagine an infinite number of alternate solutions. The observed machine, depending on its programming, may have considered many possible options before choosing one. In any case, we could imagine a 2D or 3D (or really any dimensionality) mathematical space […]

Syndicated 2013-12-30 02:06:25 from SynapticNulship

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