Saturday, June 19, 2010

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Comments on "Chaotic Logic" | Коментар към книгата на Бен Гьорцел "Хаотична логика" - към курса по Универсален изкуствен разум в ПУ

I've been checking out some of Ben Goertzel's works:

Read it at:

Chaotic Logic
Language, Thought and Reality
From the Perspective of Complex Systems Science

Ben Goertzel

Chairman and CTO Intelligenesis Corp.
Paper Version published by Plenum Press, 1994

What I liked:

- "Pattern and Prediction" (Ch. 2) 
- "The structure of thought" (Ch. 3) - multilevel control (hierarchical control)
- "Psychology and logic"  (Ch.4)
- Coverage of history of AI/logic/linguistics, good knowledge on particular philosophers, linguists etc.
- Different definitions of complexity

E.g. this lines on patterns: (Ch.2):

...Before getting formal, let us first take a quick intuitive tour through the main concepts to be discussed. The natural place to begin is with the concept of pattern. I define a pattern, very simply, as a representation as something simpler
In general, a pattern is a short-cut -- a way of getting some entity that is in some sense simpler than the entity itself. A little more formally, suppose the process y leads to the entity x. Then y is a pattern in x if the complexity of x exceeds the complexity of y....
, B. Goertzel, 1994
Also, "the amount of structure":

...These concepts may be used to measure the total amount of structure in an entity -- a quantity which I call the structural complexity. The definition of this quantity is somewhat technical, but it is not hard to describe the basic idea.

If all the patterns in an entity were totally unrelated to one another (as, perhaps, with this picture of the square next to the circle discussed above), then one could define the structural complexity of an entity as the sum of the complexities of all its patterns.

But the problem is, often all the patterns will not be totally unrelated to each other -- there can be "overlap." Basically, in order to compute the structural complexity of an entity, one begins by lining up all the patterns in the entity: pattern one, pattern two, pattern three, and so on.

Then one starts with the complexity of one of the patterns in the entity, adds on the complexity of whatever part of the second pattern was not already part of the first pattern, then adds on the complexity of whatever part of the third pattern was not already part of the first or second patterns, and so on.... B. Goertzel, 1994...

I think it's in the right direction of compression and prediction.

A discussion on Nietzsche and logic at Ch. 4  :

Nietzsche declared consciousness irrelevant and free will illusory. He proposed that hidden
structures and processes control virtually everything we feel and do. Although this is a commonplace observation now, at the time it was a radical hypothesis. 
Nietszche made the first sustained effort to determine the nature of what we now call "the unconscious mind." The unconscious, he suggested, is made up of nothing more or less than "morphology and the will to power." The study of human feelings and behavior is, in Nietszche's view, the study of the various forms of the will to power.
... Note how different this is from Mill's shallow psychologism. In the Introduction I quoted Mill's "derivation" of the Law of Excluded Middle (which is equivalent to the law of contradiction, by an application of deMorgan's identities).  Mill sought to justify this and other rules of logic by appeal to psychological principles. 

In Mill's view, the truth of "A or not-A" follows from the fact that each idea has a "negative idea," and whenever an idea is not present, its negative is. This is a very weak argument. One could make a stronger psychological argument for the falsity of "A and not-A" -- namely, one could argue that the mind cannot simultaneously entertain two contradictory ideas.

But Nietzsche's point is that even this more plausible argument is false. As we all know from personal experience, the human mind can entertain two contradictory ideas at once. We may try to avoid this state of mind, but it has a habit of coming up over and over again: "I love her/ I don't love her", "I want to study for this test/ I want to listen to the radio instead".

The rule of non-contradiction is not, as Mill would have it, correct because it reflects the laws of mental process -- it is, rather, something cleverly conceived by human minds, in order to provide for more effective functioning in certain circumstances.

 ...One rather simplistic and stilted way of phrasing Nietszche's view of the world is as follows: intelligence is impossible without a priori assumptions and rough approximation algorithms, so each intelligent system (each culture, each species) settles on those assumptions and approximations that appear serve its goals best, and accepts them as "true" for the sake of getting on with life. Logic is simply one of these approximations, based on the false assumption of equality of different entities, and many auxiliary assumptions as well....  B. Goertzel, 1994


What I generally didn't like is too high a level speaking, too much typical syntax-semantics-symbols Linguistics, Psychology, NLP and philosophy; couldn't see "good physics" thus couldn't really sustain reading all in details.

I suggest : What's wrong with NLP... series:

A curious fact is that a Bulgarian humanoid robot project Kibertron mentions "Chaotic logic computer" in their brief explanation of their "theory of natural intellect", don't know is it related to the book. Unfortunately the company claims they need 5 million Euro to make this "natural intellect" working, together with the robot.

A general advice on reading 

Use your time wise, don't read thoroughly too much. Try to understand when reading more in a topic would be worthless. A very little essence would last in your mind and would make real sense, the rest and most might be just time passed without memories and without work done.

The talk on "saturation of learning" will be continued.

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