Older blog entries for Flanneltron (starting at number 115)

The World’s End: Change and Consequences

It has been said that true science fiction requires a story in which the world is changed—and never goes back to the way it was (I don’t remember the source of this definition). By this definition, techno-thrillers such as everything by Michael Crichton are not science fiction, since the world is returned to normal after […]

Syndicated 2013-08-26 14:24:57 from SynapticNulship

Elysium and Science Fiction Films that Hate Science and Technology

I haven’t seen Elysium yet, but Ryan Britt’s article “Our Science Fiction Movies Hate Science Fiction” is interesting nonetheless: Ripping off the heads of robots like a sweaty space-age cyberpunk Robin Hood, Matt Damon is delivering future-social-justice this week in Elysium. Alright, so what does this have to do with anti-science-fiction? As Britt writes: But […]

Syndicated 2013-08-11 06:31:25 from SynapticNulship

A World of Affect

Back in the fall of 2005 I took a class at the MIT Media Lab called Commonsense Reasoning for Interaction Applications taught by Henry Lieberman and TA’d by Hugo Liu. For the first programming assignment I made a project called AffectWorld, which allows the user to explore in 3D space the affective (emotional) appraisal of [...]

Syndicated 2013-08-02 04:22:05 from SynapticNulship

AAAI Accepted My Paper “An Ecological Development Abstraction for Artificial Intelligence”

My short paper, “An Ecological Development Abstraction for Artificial Intelligence,” will be featured in the symposium “How Should Intelligence be Abstracted in AI Research: MDPs, Symbolic Representations, Artificial Neural Networks, or _____?” and will be published in the AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) technical report for the AAAI 2013 Fall Symposium Series. [...]

Syndicated 2013-07-13 01:31:13 from SynapticNulship

Nature-Inspired Development as an AI Abstraction

I’m working on some ideas and a paper to present my version of biologically-inspired development. But not just as a single project or as a technique, but as an abstraction level. It’s hard to explain, so let me first digress with this: The agent approach to AI became a mainstream part of AI in the [...]

Syndicated 2013-06-13 01:55:13 from SynapticNulship

Language Does Not Shape Thought

Cognition causes language, not the other way around. Correlations between changes in thought with changes in language abound. But the arguments are very weak for causality from language to cognition in this context. What do People Mean by Language Shapes Thought? Lera Boroditsky likes to spread the meme language shapes thought. Others have used it [...]

Syndicated 2013-05-18 06:24:56 from SynapticNulship

Symbol Grounding and Symbol Tethering

Philosopher Aaron Sloman claims that symbol grounding is impossible. I say it is possible, indeed necessary, for strong AI. Yet my own approach may be compatible with Sloman’s. Sloman equates “symbol grounding” with concept empiricism, thus rendering it impossible. However, I don’t see the need to equate all symbol grounding to concept empiricism. And what [...]

Syndicated 2013-04-03 04:17:37 from SynapticNulship

Sherlock Holmes, Master of Code

What if I told you that fictional mysteries contain practical real-world methodologies? I have pointed out the similarities between detectives solving mysteries to software debugging before. My day job of writing code often involves fixing bugs or solving bizarre cases of bad behavior in complex systems. In a new book called Mastermind: How to Think [...]

Syndicated 2013-03-29 03:20:19 from SynapticNulship

Biomimetic Emotional Learning Agents

Since I didn’t blog in back in 2004, you get to suffer—I mean, enjoy—another breathtaking misadventure down memory lane. In 2004 I started designing and coding (in C++) a cognitive architecture called Biomimetic Emotional Learning Agents (BELA). The Grand Plan This antique diagram reveals my old plans: The diagram indicates general flow of time from [...]

Syndicated 2013-03-26 04:16:20 from SynapticNulship

Comparison: ChainLocker vs. Heirarchical Mutexes

In “Concurrent Programming with Chain Locking,” Gigi Sayfan presents a C# class demonstrating chain locked operations on a hierarchical data structure. This reminded me of lock hierarchies described by Anthony Williams in the book C++ Concurrency in Action. To take a step back for a moment, the overall goal is to create multithreaded code which [...]

Syndicated 2013-03-08 06:59:00 from SynapticNulship

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