Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Is the feedback nucleous social?

On the carriage of baby auto-feedback post, we may speculate the auto-feedback origin is on reproducing a nucleous social feedback. See the hilarious demonstration in the video below.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Everests of Artificial Intelligence

[updated after a new suggestion]

Here are some of the Everests for Computational Cognitive Modeling. Some people call them AI-complete. That might not be the best term, as it extends the notion of NP-Completeness, which is a precise, formal, mathematical notion, into a very blurry territory.

Anyway, I've put them from easier to harder...

Here are my feelings when delving into theory... (hat tip to her).

Do you have another problem that's missing from this list? I would appreciate additions and suggestions in the comments.

The "Cloud" is looking ugly

Here are interesting articles about Numenta, from Wired and CNN Money. Very worthwhile.

I´ve been convinced by Drama 2.0 that the web2.0 is now a bubble. Damn it; I'm now bearish.

However, here's my longer-term view. If history is any indication, a timeline of transformation in the information revolution can be nicely broken into decades.

  • 1945. There was, like, this war, somewhere, and some dudes, like, invented these big machines called computers. It was great because they could now kill other guys much more conveniently.
  • 1955. The rise of Business Computing. IBM builds fifty-six SAGE computers at the price of US$30 million each.
  • 1965(-1). IBM, with the System/360 Mainframe, produced approximately 70 % of all computers.
  • 1975. Popular electronics shows up the Altair and wakes Gates, Allen, and the Steves. The Microcomputer revolution is born.
  • 1985(-1). Apple computer launches the Macintosh. The GUI and ease of use and WYSIWYG revolution is born.
  • 1995. Netscape IPO. The Web revolution is born. Everybody but me becomes a billionaire.
  • 2005. YouTube is born, and it epitomizes Web2.0. Also, On September 30th this "Tim O'Reilly" dude writes a piece summarizing his view of Web 2.0.
I'm now very bearish, and I believe a big market crunch is coming. It won't hurt Grandma, because she's not investing in stocks. There are no IPOs out there. It will hurt the VCs and the big players: Google, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, and so on. The crunch will suck capital dry. The VCs left standing will be gone to green. If I could advise any of the big players, I'd suggest saving some billions now (Euros, not Dollars). They would thank me later.

But remember this: while everyone thought the web was a fad, quietly, Google was being born and growing profitable. Google's IPO awakened everyone, again.

While I'm thinking we're heading for a very nasty crash in 2008 or 2009; in the longer-term, I think the likes of 2015, we will have serious progress. If history is any guide, perhaps a new revolution is on the way. Here's my guess.
  • 2015. A theory of meaning is complete. The cognitive information-processing revolution is triggered.
Around 8 years now. Who knows? With all due respect to all the smart folks working on these cognitive things, I think that perhaps we might turn out to be one of its drivers.

We have been turning that Rubik's cube, and we want to sneak in the next party.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Congratulations, Brazilian Chapter President Gurgulino!

Alto funcionário internacional brasileiro distinguido por Portugal

O Professor Heitor Gurgulino de Souza vai receber no dia 11 de Dezembro, das mãos do embaixador Francisco Seixas da Costa, na Residência da Embaixada de Portugal em Brasília, as insígnias de Comendador da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique, com que foi distinguido pelo Governo português.

O Professor Gurgulino de Souza, que teve uma brilhante carreira brasileira nas áreas da Ciência, Tecnologia e Educação, desempenhou igualmente cargos internacionais de grande relevo, em particular como Subsecretário-Geral da Organização das Nações Unidas e Reitor da Universidade das Nações Unidas, em Tóquio.

Esta distinção destina-se a mostrar o reconhecimento de Portugal pela contribuição dada pelo Professor Heitor Gurgulino de Souza à causa da paz e da amizade entre os Povos e, muito em especial, pelo seu trabalho em prol do multilateralismo e do reforço do papel das Nações Unidas na ordem internacional.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island

Talk about some recursion.
Since chunking mechanisms use a lot of recursion, perhaps we may want to start a class on them by visiting the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island.

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL SOURCE, and kudos to them!

(All I've done was mash it up; the credit is all theirs).

Largest island

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Largest lake

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Largest lake on an island
Nettilling Lake on Baffin Island (CAN)

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Largest island in a lake
Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron (CAN)

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Largest island in a lake on an island
Pulau Samosir in Danau Toba on Sumatera (INA)

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Largest lake on an island in a lake
Lake Manitou on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron (CAN)

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Largest lake on an island in a lake on an island
Crater Lake on Vulcano Island in Lake Taal on Luzon (PHI)

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Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island
Vulcan point in Crater Lake on Vulcano Island in Lake Taal on Luzon (PHI)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stumbling upon something new

We are turning some good cranks on that Rubik's cube.

From the start of the PhD course we had wanted to publish everything on, the slides, and slidecasts of the whole thing. But at one point these last weeks a real dilemma came up. What we were talking about, and doing, and seeing it run on the screen, was new. Something that most likely has not been done before, and that, if the underlying philosophical premises are correct, might have quite an impact in both computer science and cognitive science.

My mind goes like this: what to do with it? Publish the classes, as the original plan called for? Publish as a series of papers? Get a PhD candidate to work on it and see what's up? Write up a patent? If we're correct than it could potentially have wide applicability.

I think we made an advance on what we've called autoprogramming before. So I'm on Jekyll-and-Hyde mode on this one.

And the thing is... I think there's more. I think that there's another important idea clearing up... something like "concept-oriented programming"... or maybe "encapsulating object encapsulation". Just to give a glimpse of the idea: in language and cognition we use analogy all the time, of course. But how can we say that "that lawyer is a vampire", that "if independent, Quebec will become a small boat in a big storm", or something I said the other day, that "I really hope that Dr "dude" Lisi is a new Einstein. We really need a new Einstein."

In Object-oriented programming, objects have state and interfaces. But in human concepts, we apply the interfaces and properties and relations that belong to one class to almost anything else. A Canadian state becomes a boat, a lawyer becomes a fantastic figure dreamed up in novels, someone becomes an "Einstein".

How can we design classes and objects that reflect this? Even with polymorphism, inheritance and all that OO-goodness, it seems far-fetched. But I think we're stumbling on the answer. And it is beautiful. This week I'm designing the blueprint & requirements, and I hope to have a proof-of-concept (pun intended) by next week.

There's a parallel here with what Garret Lisi says about his work: either our model will be extremely simple and elegant, or it will fail spectacularly. While neither Jekyll nor Hyde wins the fight, we can't say much for now.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the possible theory of everything in the universe below.