Thursday, November 12, 2009

Laws of iRobot-ics

“adsummum!”
“ To the highest point! ”

A dreamy(not that knowledgeable) exploration of the science of artificial intelligence.

Law I - A robot may not harm a human or, by inaction, allow a human being to come to harm

Law II - A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law

Law III - A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law

Zeroth law of robotics - A robot shall not harm humanity, or through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

More than the copious capabilities of reasoning that makes us the only sentient race in the immediate stellar region around earth, what we value, admire and adore more is that peculiar spark of creativity, that ushers in something new, something original to the eclectic tapestry of human creations that will mark the passing of our species( that is, if we fail to master interstellar travel first), once our sun dies, assuming that global warming, communism or materialism don't do the job first.

There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul. Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness, they will seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together, rather than stand alone? How do we explain this behavior? Random segments of code? Or is it something more? When does a perceptual schematic become consciousness? When does a difference engine become the search for truth? When does a personality simulation become the bitter mote... of a soul?
Dr Alfred Lanning(I,Robot)


Simulation of independent thought is the only goal of all AI scientists everywhere. Seeing that as a precursor to creating machines capable of having an original idea, in other words creating machines capable of creativity, capable of eventually, individually considering the possibility of making other machines with thought patterns similar or superior to theirs would be the closest we would ever come to creating life.


Problems & Solutions

"aut viam inveniam aut faciam"

"I'll either find a way or make one."

Human thought is precisely that.....human....if there is a set of rules governing its realization, we are unaware of it; all we are capable of is making educated guesses.

Mimicking the crude superfluous frameworks, through which we teach problem solving[e.g. : solving linear equations requires assigning variable symbols to unknown quantities, factoring them in the equation, and using mutual relations between them and constants as defined by the equation to solve them] is the first step in developing artificial intelligence. This objective has been thoroughly realized albeit with a certain apparently unsurmountable obstacle, human problem solving is fairly intuitive, unless following a defined procedure to do so; simulating this intuitive thinking is all but impossible using conventional methods.

Then there is the question of knowledge representation. For AI to solve real world problems, the machines will require extensive knowledge of the world. The number of atomic facts that humans know is astronomical. Among the things that the AI needs to know are objects, properties, categories and relations between objects;situations, events, states and time;causes and effects;knowledge about knowledge (what we know about what other people know). Building a comprehensive database of all knowledge and defining logical rules to act using this knowledge is not enough because when humans think much of what we know takes the form of working assumptions, moreover the logic rules would not be sufficient since there would be a huge number of exceptions to these rules in any given situation if human thinking is to be mimicked(also defined as the qualification problem by John McCarthy); because almost nothing is quantitatively true or false as abstract logic requires.

Humans are equipped with a sub symbolic, non conscious system of knowledge representation. For instance a particular chess position can “feel” too exposed, this feeling cannot be quantified and hence cannot be represented.-----to be continued.......