Purpose: Discussion of AI Minds thinking in English, German or Russian. Privacy policy: Third parties advertising here may place and read cookies on your browser; and may use web beacons to collect information as a result of ads displayed here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

ScienceMuseum

Visit your local science museum and ask if they have the AI Mind of artificial intelligence installed in a display. If not, volunteer to become a docent and to demonstrate the AI Mind to the museum-going public.

A science museum is like a time machine that goes forward and not backwards, because visitors step into the future and see how new technology transforms an old way of life into what passes for progress. When a Disruptive Technology comes along, things change radically and perhaps predictably -- except now in the case of Artificial Intelligence ushering in a Technological Singularity, which by definition presents an impassable, singular point beyond which we cannot see. We can see the coming, but we cannot see its wildly unpredictable aftermath.

At Science Museums hosting an AI Mind exhibit, we have a front-row seat on the launching of the Singularity and a warning that maybe we should try to prevent or at least premeditate the Singularity, which can bring with it a new age of unparalled prosperity, or an end-times scenario of Götterdämmerung destruction.

In the AI landrush preceding and precipitating the Singularity, science museums have a role to play in educating the public about artificial intelligence and in distributing the AI technology in such a manner as to foster AI Evolution for the benefit of man and machine alike.

Visit any of the following science museums in search of an AI Mind exhibit.

Albuquerque -- NM Museum of Natural History & Science
Baltimore MD -- Maryland Science Center
Berkeley CA -- Lawrence Hall of Science
Bloomingtown IN -- Wonderlab Museum of SH&T
Boston MA -- Museum of Science
Brantford Ontario CA -- Personal Computer Museum
Charlotte NC -- Discovery Place
Chicago IL -- Museum of Science and Industry
Columbus OH -- Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
Detroit MI -- Detroit Science Center
Jersey City NJ -- Liberty Science Center
Kansas City MO -- Science City at Union Station
Los Angeles CA -- California Science Center
Louisville KY -- Louisville Science Center
Manchester UK -- Museum of Science & Industry
Mobile AL -- Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
Mountain View CA -- Computer History Museum
New York City NY -- New York Hall of Science
Norwich VT -- Montshire Museum of Science
Philadelphia PA -- Franklin Institute Science Museum
Pittsburgh PA -- Carnegie Science Center
San Francisco CA -- Exploratorium
Santa Ana CA -- Discovery Science Center
Seattle WA -- Pacific Science Center
Shreveport LA -- Sci-Port Discovery Center
St. Louis MO -- St. Louis Science Center
Troy NY -- Children's Museum of Sci & Tech
Tyler TX -- Discovery Science Place
Winston-Salem NC -- Sci-Works

When the first true artificial intelligence, MindForth by Mentifex, went operational in January of 2008 and started thinking after a decade of arduous development, there was a companion program in JavaScript called Mind.html that ran directly off the Web in the Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) browser. All a user with MSIE had to do was click on the link to see the JavaScript artificial intelligence (JSAI) flit across the 'Net and take up residence in the Windows (tm) computer of the human user. It was so simple -- no programming involved, no set-up, no security worries, no need of expert help -- like, for instance, a docent at a museum.

But the JSAI tutorial program remains very limited in what it can do and in what people can do with it. It is not suitable for installation as the mind of a robot, because a JavaScript program is not allowed -- for security reasons -- to control anything but the Web browser on its host computer. The JavaScript AI program also runs so slowly that it tries user patience. The user waiting for a response from the JSAI does not see the intensive computation going on behind the scenes as the artificial Mind races through its memory banks to think up a response to an input from the user.

Nevertheless the Mind.html JSAI is very good at what it is intended to do. Since JavaScript is a flashier, more visually appealing language than staid old Win32Forth, the JSAI serves its tutorial purpose admirably. It shows graphically how an AI Mind thinks. It also includes clickable links to other resources, such as the User Manual, the more difficult to install but intrinsically more powerful MindForth, and potentially to any science museum where users may visit MindForth.

Thus the Mind.html AI -- which is ridiculously easy to make copies of and install on a Web site -- is out there on the Web, inviting users to visit science museums in search of the real thing -- MindForth AI.

MindForth and its Mind.html JavaScript tutorial program are based on a linguistic theory of mind, unique to the Mentifex AI project as described in the Ai4U textbook of artificial intelligence. A copy of AI4U, or a simple depiction of its cover, could be on display as part of the interactive hands-on AI Mind exhibit. A note on AI4U secured in a plexiglass container could advise museum-goers to visit the museum gift shop to examine a copy of AI4U, or to ask any available docent to let them examine AI4U. Once museum patrons enter the gift shop to look at AI4U, they may find a selection of other books on artificial intelligence.

First a computer-savvy staff member will download the underlying Win32Forth programming language and the MindForth free AI source code.
Decision-makers at the museum will ask for a demonstration of the software to determine if the AI Mind is advanced enough and interesting enough to go on display at the museum. MindForth did not become museum-worthy until 3.SEP.2008, when a new feature of KB-Traversal
(knowledge-base examination) made MindForth vastly more interesting and engaging to human users by reactivating latent concepts during lapses in the thought-stream of conversation. KB-Traversal solved a chicken-or-egg problem. If the AI was interesting only when it was visibly thinking, and if it was visibly thinking only when a user was interacting with it, how would anybody start interacting with the AI Mind in the first place? And if a few users now and then did engage the Mind in conversation so that passers-by stopped to watch what was going on, what incentive would there be for another visitor to engage with an AI program that was just blankly sitting there and not visibly doing anything? KB-Traversal spiced things up. The new MindForth never stops thinking and throwing out ideas for a museum visitor to respond to.

A should not cheat the public by displaying a mere chatbot full of canned responses to pretend that an intelligent conversation is occurring between the visitor and the computer. Even with disclaimers that the chatbot program is not an AI, the intelligent museum-goer will wish for a more exciting exhibit, something truly challenging to the human mind -- an artificial Mind. MindForth delivers the real McCoy, True AI, and dares the user to prove otherwise. The scuttlebut will drift around town that the local science museum has an actual installation of the program claiming to be a true artificial intelligence. The villagers with their pitchforks will march angrily on the ...no, just kidding. Thoughtful types -- professors of philosophy, precocious students from schools for the gifted, newshound reporters from weekly and daily newspapers -- will beat a path to the door of the better AI mousetrap.

And if the MindForth AI is still too primitive to warrant installation as an exhibit, give it another year or two of improvement and IQ-upping. The very process of positioning the AI for adoption by museums may lead to not just a few programmers building the AI, but to a vast army of AI programmers taking up the challenge. To paraphrase Werner Heisenberg in Das Unbestimmtheitsprinzip (The Uncertainty Principle), to observe a phenomenon is to change the phenomenon. The more people look into the True AI claims of MindForth, the more people will either improve MindForth or create similar artificial minds that may for some reason be more suitable for installation in a science museum. As AI Minds proliferate, AI display workstations may also proliferate in museums. When the Feds raid the museums and close down all the AI workstations, it will be too late. AI will be here, and the public will know about it. Welcome to the Technological Singularity.