Thursday, August 7, 2014

Abstract evolution - cybernetic, meta, cosmism. Turing machine and the Pure Apriori Conceptions. Emulation of universes and minds. Thinking machine vs Turing Machine - and much more... Continuation of the thread on G+. To be continued...

[Continues, see the previous posts]

Randall Lee Reetz

Yesterday 11:33 AM 
What is evolution doing? What problem does it get better at solving? Come on people, it really isn't that complicated. Think!


Todor Arnaudov

Randall* (see the note in the end), one could just say: prediction, compression (shorter description for functionally equivallent items - it goes together with the former), preservation - however one  should add: "of what", for example of the "conserved cores" - see below. Also one should add increment of the range of prediction - higher precision, higher spatio-temporal range, higher certainty (see in the references as well). And the capacity for prediction, compression and preservation are encapsulated in spatio-temporal areas which grow both bigger and smaller - expanding resolution both in micro and in macro scale, and the encapsulated "areas" (sub-universes) get/aim at getting more and more independent from the rest of the Universe. They create higher forms of physical laws (causality), built of sequences/systems of the lower ones which predict correctly, and they get ever more aware of  them and certain in their execution (that's the improvement of prediction/compression, and increase of the quantity of "real causality" - that is one that causes in the external to the subuniverse lower Universe with the highest possible resolution of causality and perception, in terms of the target, lower level Universe). Etc.

All of these need elaboration and grounding, in order to be more than simple observations and claims, though, for example - see below.
I'm sharing some "science" on the topic of (abstract) evolution - by the way it's called "transhumanism", "cosmism", "cybernetic/abstract/meta-" evolution (by prior researchers) and yes - the ones who put humans (in their current form, emphasizing not systems', but the concrete biological substrate ) as the "ultmate top of the Universe" were religious ones, rulers of society (not the smartest one), and ones not seeing the more abstract sense, seeing only their narrow "self interst", if I could say, instead of truth. For instance Schopenhauer did say it 200 years earlier.

That subject was even taught/presented in the first AGI university courses ever (known to have existed), 3-4 years ago - of which I was the author.

There is the synopsys, the course program and the opinion of Ben Goertzel:

There are slides (but mostly in Bulgarian:

Vladimir Turchin on the Meta-System Transition - cybernetic view on the evolution:

Boris Kazachenko:

Todor Arnaudov: Theory of Mind and Universe ["teenage" is the time when it was conceived and first published by the author],
start with the introductory definitions about "Universe", "subuniverse".

Short presentation of some principles of the evolution of the Universe and intelligence in a lecture:

More theory and definitions:


Some of the original works:

Discussion on "Entropica" and general intelligence:

Various; e.g. a discussion on ethical issues of transhumanism

I suggest also some recent notes on the Meta-Evolution regarding the conflict between preservation and progress and the materialized form of these processes in the bodies of male/female organisms of humans: (In Bulgarian, though)

That's it, male organisms are materialization of the "progress" arrow ("evolution"), female - of the preservation of the existing, the behavioral differences suggest it strongly, as well as the "settings" (males genome has evolved the basic female - the Y chromosome). Due to the various levels of "objectivation of the Will" (levels of evolution of the matter), it's not "flat".

On the "Definition of Machine Intelligence" by Marcus Hutter and Shane Legg (that's regarding the "bandwidth" problem as well) - slides taught in the AGI courses and the paper:

See also specifically the AIXI, their model for "Universal AI".


Well, the whole so called "dialectical materialism" is about abstract sense of the evolution, or as Engels/Lenin would probably say:

"Higher forms of motion of matter", where the abstract sense of "motion" is "dynamics", "change".


In general, you should define your terms distinctly and clearly, something that you don't, and you should understand and recognize common concepts in other participants or thinkers - Schopenhauers's "The Will as World and Idea" is also a theory about the abstract evolution and the production of higher forms of "objectivation" of the Will , where his concept "Will" includes aspects which are discussed below in the references.)

If you were not ignorant/lacking curiosity, you would have known, that Will is a special concept which refers to higher forms of Causality, the "On the fourfold root of the principle..." is also about that (1813). In my theory humans or all Causality/Control units, or Virtual universes at different levels - they are all higher forms of causality as well.

The "Pure apriori conceptions" of Kant are Time, Space and Causality - they map to Turing Machine's/Random Access Machines clock generator, memory and instruction set.

One important aspect is, though, that the Pure apriori conceptions are *empty* of content. They are not *empirical* (that's one other reason why there's nothing "scientific" in your claims; I saw you cited Goedel - logic and axiomatic mathematics is not empirical).

Instruction set should be defined precisely, there also must be specific material - configuration of the machine memory, otherwise it's dead.

An empty Turing machine does nothing - it is the SOFTWARE that's interesting and that has enough of material for further analysis.

Here's one of your other confusions - you "summarized" my first post so naively and wrongly - like if you were a dumb "keyword recognizer" - you noticed "emulation", therefore "Turing machine"...

However, in order to emulate even just one computer with another one, one Turing-complete device with another one (not a sensory-motor thinking machine, a versatile limitless self-improver, an AGI), you have to have a lot of other things which are much more complex (in any measure - having more structural complexity and depth) and more intersting that the Turing-completeness alone:

-- The software of the first
-- Have to transfer the software of the first to the second

 A Turing machine alone, without appropriate software and other means cannot write this emulator.

So I'm talking about the capacity to write the emulator, which requires capability to investigate and understand the other "Turing machines" - causality forces, sensory-motor data. That is, I'm talking not only about the "execution of instruction", but about understanding.

And yes, you could run AVX2 code on a 6502, but you first have to write the emulator, among the other requirements and the sufficiency of memory.

An empty PC or an empty Apple][ cannot do it, and if it does understand the instruction sets and knows how to write the emulator and make the mapping, it's obviously much more than just mindlessly "Turing complete".

Accordingly, my theory refers not to "Turing machines", but to Virtual Universes, to Cuasality-Control units, resolution of causality and resolution of perception; aims at defining causation in operationalized and quantifiable terms - for instance true/complete causation and virtual/conditional causation.

It talks about universal recognizers and simulators of virtual universes - that's related to what others try to model with Hierarchical HMM or with their AIXI/UAI, algorithmic probability; etc. etc.

(No, "subuniverse" in my terms is not "local minimum" - it has more structure. "Local maximum/minimum", in Calculus sense, is used however as an aim for the Causality-Control units; the different ones have conflictint aims, coordinates of maximum reward, that's why maximum for one is a minimum for another one and it shouldn't be defined without depth. You should refer to the provided works.

See also:

Part 1 (и български):(This Post) Semantic analysis of a sentence. Reflections about the meaning of the meaning and the Artificial Intelligence

Part 2 (и български): Causes and reasons for human actions. Searching for causes. Whether higher or lower levels control. Control Units. Reinforcement learning.

Part 3 (и български): Motivation is dependent on local and specific stimuli, not general ones. Pleasure and displeasure as goal-state indicators. Reinforcement learning.

Part 4 : Intelligence: search for the biggest cumulative reward for a given period ahead, based on given model of the rewards. Reinforcement learning.


//// Furthermore the published works I cite are quite old and introductory, they need elaboration and more operationalization.)

Overall again: a thinking machine, an AGI, a Versatile limitless self-improver (VLSI) is much more than a mere Turing Machine - see more elaboration of the difference in the previous posts.


Now a huge difference that arises is the following:

An "empty", "reset" Turing machine does nothing. Void. It's in "HALT" state. Dead.

On the other hand, a mind or an "empty" VLSI is never in "HALT" state.
Human mind can't even imaging being in a "halt" state - it's just unconscious one, like if it didn't exist.

If a mind of a Versatile limitless self-improver doesn't have material, it starts to synthesize some and to scan and search for structure in the environment - just like babies, if put in dark, start to move their eyes and head around in a search for light/contrast difference - something to catch the attention and to allow further investigation, recognition, memorization, generalization, prediction, acting upon/with,  etc....

The Turing machine alone neither searches for anything, nor it knows anything.

The same applies for the Universe as a whole - it just does, it's the "blind Will", causal forces being applied.

And that's related to the thought I cited in the first comment:

"Where calculation begins, comprehension ceases"

Which refers also to the "Symbol grounding", to "Chinese room experiment", the discussion regarding behavior in "On intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins.

It refers also to the common lack of understanding of the concept of "grounding" (explained in the above posts of mine) from many people in the classical AI/programmers/logicians.

You don't seem to get it, even though I notice that you mentioned "building ontologies" and generalization, which is correct (and "ontology" is yet another philosophical term, in your "scientific" speech; your post about the "what of, what is" is poor/small scale philosophy as well).


A bit more of an expansion:

The capability to map correctly specific experiences/other input to known concepts/generalizations is called "Facculty of judgement".

It's related also to the so called "principle of homogenity and principle of specification" - generalization and specification.

It means, that you should generalize what's similar/common, but you should also accordingly discriminate and classify the differences in seperate and distinct classes.

If you do not do correctly, there will be confusions.

That's why you were criticized for the use of "evolution" with no specifications. That term alone was used and initially defined for *biological evolution*, which has its specifics.

Normally, the abstract or non-biological evolution has been called "Progress" - that's before Darwin, and it's not a new discovery or a concept - it was obvious in the advanced minds even in the early 19-th century (industrial revolution gave insights).

As of the more distinct elaborations on cybernetic evolution or the abstract evolution or meta-evolution or meta-system transition - see above.

That's "scientific" material - grounded claims, containing evidence, examples, definitions of concepts, references, trying to make predictions - so long as this topic is "science", because as "meta-" and "abstract" suggest - it's also philosophy - speculative and more abstract/general than science, inter-disciplinary, a super science. Just like "metaphysics" or "meta-programming".


Indeed your confused "parable" is sophistry, I missed the "scientific" part in your comments.
For example you share no *evidence*, just undefined and general dogmatic "claims", usually empty of content (like the Pure apriori conceptions).

BTW, If you try to refer to Ptolemy - he was actually a honest and convincing scientist (empirical), and he obviously has used empirical evidence.

At the time of conception Ptolemy's explanation was pretty persuasive - and no, it was before Christianity. The ancient world did have science and method, even the pre-school children, 4-5 year old are empirical scientists. Just their experience (sample data) and bandwidth is limited, so their hypothesis and theories are as credible and complicated as that allows.

See for example Jean Piaget dialogue with a child regarding what makes the wind blow. It's cited in the Developmental Psychology lecture in the course:

There it is for completeness:

Piaget: Who makes the wind blow?
Julia: The trees.
P: How do you know?

J: I saw them shaking their branches.

P: How that makes the wind blowing?

J (shakes her hends in front of her face): Like that. However they are bigger and there are a lot of trees.
P: Who makes the wind in the oceans?

J: It blows from the Earth. No. From the waves...

Even Piaget didn't get this right, he takes for an important aspect "Animism" - because the child sees the trees and nature as being impersonated, having intentions etc. - which in fact is not that wrong for two reasons:
1. There is no evidence/alternative theory at the time,
2. As many abstract thinkers agree, the Progress creates higher forms of causal laws thus human will/intentions and the lower forms of causality are kindred and members of a common class (see "On the fourfold root...")

Thus, to me there's something else that's more interesting: it's that the child does have *EMPIRICAL* facts collected by *EXPERIMENTS*, and then she makes inferences based on these empirical observations, which are correct and consistent.

-- Shaking hands produces wind (experimental settings, experiment, results)
-- The feelling of shaking hands in front of one's face is similar to the feeling when there's wind outside

-- The force of the wind can be quantified/measured and it depends on the magnitude of the surface being shook and the speed of shaking

On the next generalization:

---> Motion produces wind
* Branches of the trees with the leaves shake.
* Waves in the ocean move
* Bigger/wider objects cause stronger wind - as the wind in nature is stronger than at home

Therefore the trees and the waves produce the wind.

Respectively, if one looks at the *EMPIRICAL* data available to Ptolemy and the numbers/quantities known/in use by that time, one would see that he was a good scientists and didn't make wild guesses.

As of the process of discovering something beyond that - so that the other scientists (limited empirical observers with worse generalization capacities) can't be convinced with evidence...

The above requires a higher abstraction, to go beyond the competing thinkers, a wider scope.

 For example, the one who proposed that stars are probably far away, they are other suns with other planets and other living beings was classified as "philosopher" - was Giordano Bruno who died for it, killed by dogmatic idiotic apes.

And as it's always with the most advanced and the best minds - he was interdisciplinary, he was also a mathematician, astronomer (he extended Kopernik's model), a genius, unlike pedantic calculating machine.

Philosophy is the most general/abstract/speculative/meta- view on the rest of the knowlege and theory.

Philosophy appears always after science - and  your parables are nonsenses, don't mistake religious nonsense with philosophy, and don't use it as well... :)) That's why you can't provide ANY specific evidence, any name of a philosopher or a work, or a page in a treatise; or any historical fact that prove your nonsense - compare to the writings of the "philosopher".

To name something "philosophy", it must be a higher generalization on something else, it needs  material to generalize on, which is provided by empirical data, and as shown with example with the child - even 5 year-old has some form of a method for testing hypothesis, actually even a new-born has.

The only "sciences" without empirical data are such as Formal logic; some consider also pure mathematics - when it's based on purely axiomatic systems, that do not understand/relate/care/know their grounding. Mindless calculations which loses detail and ground - which for instance is the reason for the silly "logical paradoxes" (such as Goedel "mighty" theorem, proving an obivious - nature is not "formal logic". Some "scientists" still believe so, though.

However "nature never lies", Universe is always "correct" and it always "says the truth". If you find a paradox or can't predict/map/... it correctly/completely - it's your model/theory, not nature.

Important Note:

* As of the addressing to Randall - the purpose of this/previous posts is of course the (truth, depth, coverage, understanding, explanation, clarification, grounding, ...) of the subject matter. He's only an "instrument of the Will", "a soldier of fortune" as he himself notices about humans in the path of Progress (humans in the specific biological substrate) - a step in the whole process.

These writings with some more unpublished expansions and details, and in a better formatted presentation would go in a complete work.

I am aware that the specific "soldier of fortune" to whom formally the message was addressed (it's just formally, let me emphasize) does not have enough of "RAM,  CPU" or attention span to grasp  such elaborate studies as the above, so please let him do not believe that he's that special.

The topic is that deserves the attention, and some the peculiarities and confusions of minds like his are worth being explained.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Super Science of Philosophy and Some Confusions About it - continuation of the discussion on the "Strong Artificial Intelligence" thread at G+

On : ...

See the recent previous blog-posts from which it continues: ...

//By the way, I agree with some of your claims (but they should be elaborated with examples - grounds of reason, something that you do not do, unlike me - that's the purpose of the "many words", to build up images and context.)

So I actually do have "a theory" of intelligence and universe, which are going together, published prior to Hawkins' book, the trendy "Singularity" PR, the term "AGI", the "Deep Learning" popularity.

And one additional reason for people not understanding each other is our ape-character - social ranking. That's one reason why a few people would bother to check what the other has written, his theory etc., that is above comments of a few lines, unless he displays high social ranking.

One would read Kurzweil, or Hawkins, but not Todor Arnaudov - my theory is in some aspects "kindred " to Hawkins, however published prior to Hawkins' - who cares. There are even worse cases - see below.

"Randall Lee Reetz
10:02 AM
There is a big difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy only respects the thoughts we like to think. It's a mirror on self interest.
Randall Lee Reetz
10:04 AM
Science is what we have had to invent and work at because of philosophy's obvious blind spots."

Todor Arnaudov:

Sorry, the above shows that you don't have a clue about philosophy, especially the rigorous one. The "mirror of self interest" that's exactly the opposite of the systematic philosophy - it aims at being as objective as possible; even the term "objective" is used for "detaching from the Will" (in Schopenhauer terms, that process is related to Brahmanism and Buddhism terms, "losing yourself");
the motive to be as detached from the Will as possible.

The right philosophy aims for grounded, explained, starting from most basic and provable (as long as its possible) grounds - start with the dissertation "On the fourfold root..." which is exactly about the grounding of the truths as matching to the reality; as I mentioned earlier - 180 years prior a known as a seminal paper about that in the official "science" of AI. The line of Marx, Engels and Lenin is also about scientific method of philosophy and a tight correlation of philosophy and science (see especially Engels), unfortunately it's "polluted" with politics/ideology.

Finally "we" who first invented and worked at science methodologically were namely the philosophers... From the Greek ones to the Renaissaince ones. Of course practice and theory, and philosophy and science go and should go hand by hand, that's another word/way of talking about "sensory-motor grounding", related to the "Facculty of understanding" (Kant, Schopenhauer), the mapping between higher abstractions, lower abstractions and the lowest level data that's empty of intrinsic meaning. Good philosophy is on the top of the sciences.

As of the "many words" of mine - that's one of the problems of understanding - incompatibly different bandwidths. It's not only about time, it's about the size of the buffers at the lower levels - working memory capacity, the Facculty of judgment/top-bottom connection within the cognitive hierarchy; differences in the capacity/access to lower level sensory data in various modalities; capacity to imagine/trace the visualization/materialization of the words into images; and of course - simple knowledge when if missing, and also the attention span in time. (See the other comments for more details)


Philosophy is about higher generalization, higher cognitive span - it's steps above science in generality and scope, respectively it's harder to be grasped or held in mind by some scientists/engineers, whose subjects normally require shorter/smaller span - "out of memory"/"lacking grounding data"/"insufficient transitory-buffer-capacity" (see my other comment and the answer after it's published), and it requires to know to what the abstractions refer, so it's supposed that you know the concepts and "mechanics" of the special sciences as well.

The good philosophers are also scientists and engineers and artists in one way or another - you should understand the special sciences/domains and search for the general between them. If you are specialist only in one field (or a few) you can't notice or care about the association to the others, the causal chains between them, that your field is in fact the same as some other fields, how your own field came to existence and why is different, etc. The data to make this inference is missing. Most people suffer from multi-interdisciplinary blindness and multi-modal learning limitations.

That's why many people ask questions whose answer is otherwise obvious - they however scan the world with a spotlight in the darkness, instead of having a sun to enlighten the whole view at once, and if there's a lack of memory to keep the track while scanning - that might be a long journey of trial-and-error within the darkness, until reaching the obvious.

Regarding your claim - there are philosophers like that - it is the sophistry, perhaps some of the subjective idealists, perhaps also some servants of some ideological needs or just "immitators" - they mirror what the audience would like to hear, this is often blah-blah-sophy, not quality philosophy. Kant and Schopenhauer for instance were definitive AGI researchers, aiming at understanding intelligence and creativety completely, as much as the means and knowledge at the time allowed; unlike almost all of the official so called AI researchers for the most of the history, who were mere programmers or logicians or engineers or mathematicians, or combination of some of the above - but were missing the grounding "glue". I would name a few who did have a clue about the glue: Vladimir Turchin and Alan Kay.


So what's your knowledge or rather *understanding* of philosophy?

In fact the modern scientifical methods were first understood, proposed and formalized by philosophers - start with that fact; they knew better than the "scientists" what one had to do; many of the typical scientists are rather "pedants", performers of what's prescribed (initially by an authority - the "biological" method of the social ranking of the apes which humans are); most people are like that, and that's why science in Europe was dead for a millenium in the middle ages.

It was dead due to bad philosophy and because, let's call them "scientists" (empiricists), the more "practical ones" couldn't make up a way to understand the facts given the low resolution high generality data they started with and due to too much of obedience to the bullshit of the autorities (and perhaps the more limited amount of working memory, compared to the quality philosophers who then came).

"Angels" and "deamons" ruled the world - it was empirically proven - if you were bad, the sacred forces of Good moved you to the stake and you got burned in order to save your soul! People were bad and sinful, they didn't follow the Commandments, that's why they got ill and died! Who ever needed a better explanation - it was proven empirically.

Then science was revived not without the impulse of good philosophers, who are not pedants, they broke the existing fake dogmas, started to break the obedience to the authority and started to apply and suggest rigorous methods, instead of sophistry and pleasing or serving the religious authorities: Francis Beacon had important works on the inductive method in science, Descarthes paved the way of Calculus and started the idealists school of thought, which reached to Kant and Schopenhauer - their philosophy is a theory of how to build an AGI, so long as you understand it and have enough of working memory to keep their sentences in mind.

Indeed, I would claim that Kant was also an abstract mathematician. "Turing machine" is some 150 years late to Kant's true early definition of a computer - namely the Kant's emphasizing of the appropri conceptions of time, space and causality. This is the most abstract definition of a programmable computer: it needs a clock generator ("time") - there must be changes, and at the lowest level they should be expressible in 1D (the lowest possible dimension, the simplest hardware); it needs memory (state, "matter") and causal laws for the changes to happen in predictable manner, rather than having a random number generator* - that's the computer architecture, the instruction set, the most basic "physical laws", upon which higher forms are built.

* in fact random numbers are also not "random" and follow the law of their distribution; the probabilistic laws are also laws

Schopenhauer extended and made it even more clear - and that's all of the above: a Universe model, a model of a computer, a model of simulation of scientific simulations.

Also, just to mention regarding the talk on evolution here - his otherwise philosophical theory is about the Evolution, which in the beginning was such (that is: more abstract/general/higher science than the direct, purely empirical zoology). He discuss about the evolution (development, emergence, "generatio aequivoca") of the live and of the Universe and mind - and is several decades prior to Darwin - "the scientist".

- He induces his theory from the sciences, strongly refers and supports his claims with biology - zoology and botany - and all other scientific knowledge, available at the time;
- he defines the "anthropic principle" (not using the term);
- the "struggle" between the species, the crude forces of nature (the Will) that care more for the survival of the genus rather than the species and even less for the individual beings - however the individual objectivation of the Will, the individuals, struggling for their own surviving and fighting with the other forms of the Will;
- the fitness of the species to their surroundings and that they are mutually correlated and by the peculiarities of the environment one may induce what kind of animals would live there, and that in different places with similar climate and conditions live similar species, even though they were not exactly the same - because the evolution have lead the Will through similar obstacles and they had to survive in similar conditions);
- respectively that infers the survival of the fittest;
- the humans as higher than animals only in the extent and of the level of "the objectivation of the will", but qualitatively the same (something radical for 19-th century, where the egoistical humans were trained by the Western religions that animals "didn't have a soul");
- that the apes and other of the smartest animals are just one step below humans, they have similar "Understanding", but don't have "Reason";
- that the first human was probably born from the womb of an ape (i.e. not a human);
- that the first humans should have been black-skinned or dark, not white.
Etc. etc.

Let's visit also Marx. He is the proto-father of systematic Sociology, modern Economix; his thought, as with Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietsche is also related to Systems sciences, Cybernetics and together with Engels and Lenin they constantly searched and displayed correlations between the more abstract and the more specific (where honestly, where ideologically).

Notice also one other detail. Only Kant among the above was an academical, but as Schopenhauer mentions - he was an exception, because he lived in time of an enlightened monarch, who was a philosopher as well.

All the others were dissidents out of the universities, "non scientific"/according to the adopted values, some of them were viewed as "cranks" - Schopenhauer or "insane" - Nietsche.

That's it with the "bad" and "self-interested" philosophy, which is in fact a higher level of science and a "spawner" of other special sciences, because it sees more of the landscape**, which allows it to understand, explain and forsee things that normal scientists notice or "prove" decades or centuries later with their pocket spotlights and the smaller scope of view. The latter are driven more of the "blind will", the evolution that doesn't understands its aims and just "works". If they had a clue and understood the "bad" and "non-objective" philosophy they may have made the same "new" discoveries much earlier.

** Multi and interdisciplinary researchers are kind of philosophers as well, they are "meta-scientists". Theoretical physics is also close to philosophy, it's speculative and the most general/abstract of its "sisters".

Working memory capacity, traces of thoughts ... - continuation of the thread on G+ "Strong Artificial Intelligence" [Continues]

Todor Arnaudov's answer to Randall Lee Reetz at ...

No theory at all? I don't think so. I'm sorry if some of the words/terms sound "embarassing" - it's not "politically correct", but are facts called with true names. That's just measures of intelligence, emotions is what humans often see as the most important though and lose the rest (not the method, but your "existential ..." if I rephrase you).

There's rather no theory in the short statements - where is it in 10 words (what's their purpose at all), it suggests super short attention span - first of all. These ones don't have internal "physics" and structure, to name one, and scarcely refer to anything specific, or it's just a term or two or some general claim.

My comment refered to a bunch of specific concepts and works (I could extend it), and there is even inter-sentence structure/comparisons - for example the difference between the span of the intelligence which is one of the reasons for misunderstanding/impossibility for understanding - Einstein vs Schumacher.

As of the "too many words" - one of the reasons why some people don't understand each other. Incompatible bandwitdhs limitations/impatience/grounding/experience/..., another implied by the above is that they can't follow each-other thoughts.


Turing machine is too simple a model, it's "exhausted" of material and obvious at a glance, - more structure is needed, such as:

Randall: "a small intelligence advantage. - ... the question is why?"


The comment gives some answers, which at a level of verbal short expressions (...) is what one can get.
So it's about:

- Working memory capacity (in narrow cognitive science sense that's the 7+-2 thing, and in more general sense that's the span of the focus, the amount of data one can process in a chunk/a step/a moment, or can hold for longer for processing without refering to external sources);

- The exent of the connections between the levels of cognitive hierarchy, the lossyness/how much is lost between the levels; the extent of assymetry of bottom-up to top-bottom; the availability of access to the different levels of abstraction of sensory records from the different sensory modalities (one who doesn't recognize musical tones cannot understand a melody or a chord or a symphony as a composer who does);

These connections are related to the defined more than 200 years ago hierarchy of Reason(concepts, most abstract, most general, executive function; serial, small capacity)--Facculty of judgement-Understanding(simulation of the causal forces of the Universe)-Input (external and internal).

All of the above is related to the capability of grounding and understanding of grounding, how much one operates with a model of the Universe or just doing blind calculations without understanding;

-- Facculty for imagination, related to "Visuo-spatial sketchapad" capacity, fantasy; that's connected with the WM capacity, the visual hierarchy and grounding as well.

">>a small intelligence advantage. ... the question is why?"

First of all, it may be not small, but "on/off" - such as missing connections/"facculties" to learn in the appropriate sensory-motor data chain, making you incapable to understand operationally for example painting or dancing or playing the piano. Humans possess "general intelligence", but only humanity as a whole with all the technologies has "versatile intelligence", or as I call it: Versatile limitless self-improvement capability. Individuals do not have truly general (versatile) intelligence, they are bottlenecks somewhere in the brain that make humans unable to learn in some of the modalities or inter-modally beyond most mundane levels, compared to the talented ones.

Second - due to the hierarchical/heterarchical nature of brain/mind, and also the working memory limitations, there might be "fire walls", "valves" where conceptions cease to grow - for example the mind cannot hold all of the required samples at the same time in order to see the causal relation.

Third - you're right that time matters, that's one of the dimensions of the scope/span of the attention, both in narrow term related to consciousness and in wider - a topic that you may investigate and revisit for a year, a decade, for life, and to see from new points of view over and over again. This is related to non-cognitive forces as well such as lower biological needs; to distractability, to the development of the mielin in your brain, to your life situation.

However time doesn't help when there are "interrupted" connections (such as sensory modalities data) or insufficient working memory, which in the human brain is not unlimited.

For example, one reason why some people cannot understand Kant thoughts is that they couldn't keep in mind some of the sentences, or just keeping their vocal representation in the loop overloads their mind so they can't think also about the implications, or see the connection to the following sentences or the past ones.

Again, Schopenhauer has actually talked about that issue in the chapter for the "Essential limitations of the intellect" in "The world as Will and Idea", volume two, ch. 15 - that the highest thoughts/consciousness/Reason is in time, sequential and in order to think of something else, the previous thought should be removed, and only some traces should left, that allow to keep the trace, the direction, the trend, and the rest should go deeper. If one doesn't have enough resources to keep the traces alive, to "bear in mind", she would lose the point and would see the thoughts/sentences/concepts as "unrelated".

If that is applied for a long chain of operations and if the results of the operations can be output and stored outside so that they doesn't need to be born in mind anymore and can run on their own without human understanding (technology, machines) or can be encoded in a cheaper and faster memory such as the premotor cortices/cerebellum as motor programs available on demand without loading the precious consciousness resources) - then a huge abyss grow between people and apes, and between humans who're talented/trained and the rest.

Also there are fields where you can go deeper while still keeping the "trace/connection" foot-print low - that's in the highly formal logical chains where the truth of the rest is not questioned, or if you do calculations. Eventually it has to be mapped/connected to some grounds, like the axioms in Euclidean mathematics and the initial conditions of the problem, which are considered "obvious/proven".

So as long as you have enough of memory to bear in mind, you can run for centuries and produce new results; if you don't - you're left as an ape and the gap grows. Some apes or monkeys (don't remember the species) for example would warm themselves if they found a fire, but they would not throw pieces of wood in the fire to keep it going. Also, apes are known to use tools, but not to use tools for creation of new tools - insufficient resources. Similarly as the children grow, their capacity to bear in mind items grow, as the lenght and the complexity of the sentences they can produce or comprehend.


As of the citation from Einstein - let me send it in the previous century. In "Paregra and Paralipomena" (if I'm not mistaken), S. emphasizes the fact that the ordinary people have "very short thougts", in other works also he mentions that the difference between a genius and a "blockhead" might have an endless amount of intermediate steps, but in essence it's only quantitative and in the extent, the ingenious ones see the world more distinctly and clearly and are able to focus/concentrate all of their mental energy in one spot, they can be "objective", detached from the "Will", the biological "self interest" such as social ranking/status, money, sex etc. The average people cannot concentrate and think or analyze experience for the sake of it, they are too much concerned with their personal interest which distracts them and keep them for focusing.

As of some more "scientific" evidences for the working memory stuff:

Kyllonen, P., & Christal, R. (1990). Reasoning ability is (little more than) working memory capacity?! Intelligence, 14,

Reply to Conway et al. on Jensen on Intelligence-g-Factor

A review of visual memory capacity: Beyond individual
items and toward structured representations
Visual working memory capacity: from psychophysics and neurobiology to individual differences

In the abstract of the above: "The capacity for simple visual features is highly correlated with cognitive ability."

Regarding time again - it's discussed in the theories of Hawkins (in On Intelligence), of Boris Kazachenko, of neuroscience - the time needed for the sensory input to go to the PFC - images shown for too short time like in the editing in TV and modern action cinema only "fly-through" mind and do not get critically analyzed or steadily remembered. See also the biophysics, researchers on the "ADD" of current society, which is caused largely by watching television, Indeed, the claim that it is a (legal) drug is made by "official" scientists, there are hypotheses that the rise of the drug-addictions in the 60-ies is due to the growing up of the first TV-breed generations. The fast-changing images promote novelty-seeking/dopamine "shortcuts" and addiction, and people become more susceptible to catch addiction from chemical drugs. If you do not believe that, see for example a summary of the research through the decades by the Romanian researcher:Телевизията-и-детето_153788.html.

My own theory refers the extent/level of understanding also to the amount of time (for deeper, superficial, so that's "real-time physicist" or theoretical physicist etc.). That's the resolution of perception and causation in the dimension of time, respectively related the level of generalization/the span of data records or the prediction period in the future and the levels of detail.

To reiterate something else on the "small advantage":

I believe "small" has to be defined better and more convincingly as a meaningful concept in order to make sense. In Chaos Theory they use to say that "a small difference in the initial conditions may lead to a big difference in the final state". "Small and big" are too definitive, but they are vague. For example in a textbook they once said "1 mm difference of the position of a sled, may lead to 60 m deviation at the end of a slope".

Big? It's just 60000 times the initial difference.
One may say the opposite: it's rather a small change, bearing in mind that the distance between two molecules is bigger than the difference between the initial and the end condition (in orders of magnitude), and that the position depends obviously on all the path and the obstacles and details that the sled has to encounter until arriving at the end - so it's not just the difference in the initial conditions (relative position from a previous run), it's the whole situation and the initial unknowness of the complete situation with appropriate/sufficient resolution of detail that leads to the apparently "big" difference.

Somebody having wrong/unclear/low resolution model getting excited about being unable to predict the results "as he thought he should have been able", instead of criticizing/correcting/enriching/... his model.


And yet another answer to that arrogant and short-memoried guy, insulting me, but giving food for a good post, enjoy! :D

Todor Arnaudov


Randall, I would rather suggest you do it. I had a written and published theory far more clear than yours (matching in some points) when I didn't even have a moustache. However yeah - I'm a far quicker typist than you, obviously...

[ - see the slides

As of some more "scientific" evidences for the working memory stuff, let me repost it to your insult:

Kyllonen, P., & Christal, R. (1990). Reasoning ability is (little more than) working memory capacity?! Intelligence, 14,
Reply to Conway et al. on Jensen on Intelligence-g-Factor

A review of visual memory capacity: Beyond individual
items and toward structured representations

Visual working memory capacity: from psychophysics and neurobiology to individual differences

In the abstract of the above: "The capacity for simple visual features is highly correlated with cognitive ability."

You don't understand because you don't care or if you do perhaps have
too short working memory for that kind of presentation - one of the serious reasons why people don't understand/care for each other, explained in details in the posts, as well as in referring scientific publications.

You mistake "science" with "limited working memory" (to the extent that you accept).

Yes, science (as well as philosophy, as well as evolution of the Universe in some of its aspects) is about optimization, compression, shortening.

However there's a limit beyond which you start to lose detail and turn to too general, of which you cannot induce anything more , or lack grounding.

There's no cell made of one molecule.

Some of your claims - see them in my theory (for example) among others - published decade(s) or more ago, by a kid.

However they are too general and confused said that way - that's something that John points out.

The "evolution" should be defined more distinctly. For example I agree about the evolution of the Universe as a whole, however at the same time John is right that there are "sub-Universes" - the individuals whose goals are not always synchronized with the overall trend, not all the time.

The individual is a sub-universe aiming at his own goals. And within an individual, there are other subuniverses which also have conflicting goals and struggle to overcome the others.

Boris Kazachenko has concepts called "Conserved core" and "Adaptive interface", that is related to the concept of "Meta-System Transitions" of Vladimir Turchin. That's about evolution in more articulated form of expression, not in one sentence.

The overall results produce the evolution of life and Universe.

At a higher level of an individual there's the genus - which is also having its interests that are above the interests of the individual, but below those of the Evolution (of life) as a whole, or Evolution of universe as a whole (humans and technology destroying living forms, species and genus being eliminated from existence).

Your claims alone, even when agreed on, are not operational in that form.

You need to add more specific and "physical", that is causal, details to "run" it - something that needs more words than most people use to take in one "bite".

And one "philosopher" such as Schopehnauer had 3500-4000 pages worth of incremental and all-directional proves of one-single thought. You have - how much, a half page with words only.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Where calculations begin, comprehension ceases* - on understanding and superintelligent AGI. Todor's comment in "Strong Artificial Intelligence" at Google+

Comment on the thread:

Todor Arnaudov:

Yes, in too simple situations or ones where the possibilities for action are physically limited, by other unalterable superior forces, a superior intelligence is not obviously useful. A genius in an empty solid room with no doors, no windows, no holes, and no tools wouldn't invent better ways to escape than any normal guy or a cockroach.

Also - yeah, most people, having current biology, don't need technology beyond "baking a cake" (food, drinking, sex, entertaining (legal sensory-taken drugs such as TV), social approval) - people don't really care about technology, and hopefully there were ones who did, otherwise we would have still be dying in the caves.

Average people wouldn't see it as useful for the sake of its cleverness, it's not directly "practical" for an animal (sex, food, ...), it may actually be "anti-practical", because it will show humans that they are dumb,  that "there's no need for human work, since it can be done/synthesized in 0.1 secs by one machine" - and many may go mad about that; many of their recent values will lose their significance and it will become obvious that they are not "magical".


I agree that one of the crucial fields for the AGI is biology. There are a few other important fields which will be such in the beginning, but they will do because they are easy and actually will be "anihilated" and "eaten up" immediately, since they are obvious and trivial, they don't even need enormous computing power for today's standards.


It is true also that the "normal" people usually don't need genii (including super smart AGI),  and a genius, as explained by Schopenhauer some 200 years ago is usually useless for his contemporaries, because they can't understand him; they see him as a "crackpot", while a genius could see the other people as a bunch of silly "idiots"  (and would be correct). As of the Matt's example about Einstein as a possible crackpot for the "most people" - do you bear in mind that most people have "learning disabilities", can't learn even basic Calculus, can't learn to draw, to juggle, to play musical instruments, to write a decent novel, can barely learn a foreign language or two - and would talk terribly. They are "retards" in most of the creative fields, if measured honestly and compared to the "talented" ones. Of course Einstein was a genius in theoretical physics, not an ingenius car driver, as Michael Schumacher is an ingenious car driver ("practical real-time physicist with high-speed sensory-motor physical processing, sensory-muscular reaction with a high precision, high-precision real-time trajectory prediction etc.), not an ingenious theoretical physicist (not real time, higher generality data, ...) - there's nothing hard in measuring or recognising this.


So why don't we turn the glass on the other side - from Einstein's point of view most of the people are idiots and retards, they can't see and cannot learn what was obvious and trivial to him - while he completely understood and could match their inferior understanding of theoretical physics (of which most people don't even have a clue, above some obvious elements of classical mechanics, without formalization).


If someone is capable to recreate/understand/explain/trace/unveil/expand/repeat... what you can do, if he is capable to emulate you; but you're not capable to emulate him - or if he does it faster, deeper, longer, more sustainable ... - he's better (smarter, more clever, superior, ...) than you in that domain. Of course for low level definition such a natural language one is too general.

In general, the above is related to the amount of working memory (and access for particular types of sensory motor memory), in a wider sense that the term from the cognitive science, which even in its narrow sense is proven and obviously correlated with the G-factor.


 Most people cannot understand at all some topics, can't have a clue and can't learn them (besides to memorize some fragments , terms, concepts, operations etc. by heart that they can recite, perform, apply etc., but cannot continue, extend, optimize), namely because they are unable to put the problem in their mind.


The ones who do not understand see random unconnected fragments and cannot follow the thought process,  besides on the "tracks" that are memorized as sequences to be "replayed". They can't see the links, do not understand the *PHYSICS* (the causality), the "intentionallity", the "philosophy", the idea (in Schopenhauer's sense), and can't create an intuitive view of the domain/question ("intuitive" in the sense of Kant and Schopenhauer ). So that's why they don't see anything meaningful or notice only "miracles", "radical novelty" or other nonsenses (like in art for the people who do not understand it and can't learn it) and the only way for them to pretend to understand such topics is to see some by-effects, some results - which however is not understanding of the topic, but "noticing" a detail, or an "approval" in other simpler and more trivial terms/domains/context); or if they follow straightforward logical chains "if-...then... therefore", possibly long,  but be allowed to forget the past steps, so that the process is simple enough to have small amount of data within the single steps. At the end, they could reach at the conclusion and check that it was "correct", but otherwise they could not see the whole picture at once, and that's not real understanding/comprehension.


 As Schopenhauer has said some 200 years ago for humans for such cases: "Where calculations begin, comprehension ceases" - in "On the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason", which ineed is one of the true early seminal AGI monographs, among Kant's critiques and all of the Schopenhauer's works. That was some 180 years before the often cited "seminal paper" of "Symbol Grounding" (1990) and 170 before the Searle's pathetic AGI "disproval" with his "Chinese Room experiment" (1980). Humans suffer from the "Chinese Room" or more properly - Schopenhauer's "words instead of thoughts" issue themselves, they did suffer very hardly centuries ago (in the philosophical sophisms). Reciting memories, reordering words without taking care of their meaning and connections, without holding in mind these connections; doing blind calculations, without understanding why, what, for what etc. - that's what most people do anyway. And that is not understanding. In one point of view, even the brightest genius doesn't really understand the technology - he cannot hold the processing inside it in his mind even in the slightest detail, besides extremely tiny or general fragments at a time.


We would not be able to understand thoroughly and "really" the thought process of an AGI that is too much smarter than us, as well. Only the principles or fragmentary and it may look like "magic".
 However as of such "general" understanding of principles, even laymen "understand"/are capable to *say* something about some of the most general and easy to be uttered principles behind computer science - "digital", "1s and 0s", "flip-flops", "has memory cells where you store data", "it does what you tell it to do" etc., while at the same time he may be unable to code even a trivial system of 40 lines of code or understand how a simple adder etc. really works. So one may question whether he does understand what he's talking about, or he's just a "talking machine", an advanced "speech synthesizer".

*"Where calculation begins, comprehension ceases" - a Schopenhauer's thought from "On the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason", year 1813 (?+editions). From the English translation at

Translation in English by William T Fee, 1903.

Pages 90-91:

Also: "Calculation conveys no comprehension ... [it is] of merely practical, not theoretical value ... ... deals exclusively with abstract concepttions of magnitude, whose mutual relations ..."

 To calculate therefore, is not to understand, and,
in itself, calculation conveys no comprehension of things.
Calculation deals exclusively with abstract conceptions of
magnitudes, whose mutual relations it determines. By it
we never attain the slightest comprehension of a physical
process, for this requires intuitive comprehension of
space-relations, by means of which causes take effect.


Calculations have merely practical, not theoretical, value.
It may even be said that where calculation begins, compre-
hension ceases ; for a brain occupied with numbers is, as
long as it calculates, entirely estranged from the causal
connection in physical processes, being engrossed in purely
abstract, numerical conceptions. The result, however, only
shows us how much, never what.


And if Neo-Spinozans (Schellingites, Hegelians,
&c.), with whom words are wont to pass for thoughts


Germans are accustomed to content themselves
with words instead of thoughts
. Do we not train them
to it from their cradle? Only look at Hegelianism!
What is it but empty, hollow, nauseous twaddle!

Arthur Schopenhauer, 1813 (Bold - T.A.)