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Wednesday, May 04, 2011


The MindForth Programming Journal (MFPJ) is both a tool in developing MindForth open-source artificial intelligence (AI) and an archival record of the history of how the AI Forthmind evolved over time.

1 Tues.3.MAY.2011 -- Encountering the WHO Problem

In the most recent release of MindForth artificial intelligence for autonomous robots possessing free will and personhood, our decision to zero out post-ReEntry concepts is only tentative. If the mind-design decision introduces more problems than it solves, then the decision is reversible. It was disconcerting to notice that the newest version of MindForth could no longer answer who-are-you questions properly, and would only utter the single word "WHO" as output in response to the question. We expect the necessary bugfix to be a simple matter of tracking down and eliminating some stray activation on the "WHO" concept-word, but there is a nagging fear that we may have made a wrong decision that worsened MindForth instead of improving it, that delayed the Singularity instead of hastening it, and that argues for an AI working group to be nurturing MindForth instead of a solitary mad scientist.

2 Tues.3.MAY.2011 -- Debugging the WHO Problem

In the InStantiate mind-module, both WHO and WHAT are set to zero activation as recognized input words, under the presumption that such query words work in a mind by a kind of self-effacement that lets the information being sought have a higher activation than the interrogative pronoun being used to request the information. Today at first we could not understand why the setting to zero seemed to be working for WHAT but not for WHO. Eventually we discovered that only WHAT and not WHO was being set to zero in the ReActivate module, with the result that all instances of the recognized WHO concept were being activated at a high level in ReActivate. When we fixed the bug by having both InStantiate and ReActivate set WHO to zero activation, the AI Mind began giving much better answers in response to who-queries. Immediately, however, other issues popped up, such as how to make sure that neural inhibition engenders a whole range of disparate answers if they are available in the knowledge base (KB), and whether we still need special variables like "whoflag" and "whomark". In general, we tolerate special treatment of words like WHO and WHAT with the caveat that we expect to do away with the special treatment when it becomes obvious that we can dispense with it.

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