Saturday, 8 November 2008

The minds we make overall stupid despite being generated by an underlying remarkable ability to draw inferences?

Threads which spontaneously associated and brought out these thoughts

- FROM SIMPLE ASSOCIATIONS TO SYSTEMATIC REASONING: A Connectionist representation of rules, variables, and dynamic bindings using temporal synchrony
- Abstract
- Neural processes beat rational thinking.
- Consciousness a byproduct of brain functions? Or even so a waste product?
- Hints for imperfect minds?
- Tractable and intractable computations human individuals are faced with.
- Unconscious knows better ... Indulge yourself.
- Neurons have built-in solving power, churning out solutions fast. Better keep consciousness away.
- Chaos in my mind. Channels tapped
- The brain, as a quantum computer?
- Human individual, a quantum mechanical entity?
- Would the mind know but would not tell?
- Is thinking an automatic process?
- Unconscious knows better ... Indulge yourself.
- You are stupid, he is stupid, she is stupid, they are stupid ... I am stupid ... We are all stupid!!!
- The human mind is an invaluable asset to be wasted by the monetising societies

What is that? There is a wealth of knowledge out there and bit by bit is dug out. At least from my personal perspective as pioneering individuals did and do the digging in the first place.

The title 'From simple associations to systematic reasoning: A connectionist encoding of rules, variables, and dynamic bindings using temporal synchrony' impressed me, though having only the abstract limits my exposure. Hoomf, I spoke to soon, I got the pdf.

The authors Lokendra Shastri and Venkat Ajjanagadde, published this paper in 1993, in the 'Behavioral & Brain Sciences' journal, Volume 16 Issue (03). Their objective coming out in the following extract from the abstract. of the paper,

"We show how a connectionist network can encode millions of facts and rules involving n-ary predicates and variables, and perform a class of inferences in a few hundred msec."

Their 'connectionist network' handles millions of data, data that, as I could gather, are not simple ones or twos but a lot more complex, facts and rules. Without the need to refer to the n-ary predicates and variables, in order to grasp the complexity of the data and the enormity of the task, and despite all that, it performs inferences in a few hundredths of a msec.

Their network is outstanding just for its own sake, but the main reason, I focus on that, is because their 'connectionist network', is put forth, in order to simulate or emulate, (whatever), our brain. The human mind. Everyone's mind.

As they admit

"Human agents draw a variety of inferences effortlessly, spontaneously, and with remarkable efficiency -"

effortless, spontaneous, efficient hallmarks and

" — as though these inferences are a reflex response of their cognitive apparatus."

Reflex responses? No need to consciously think, to produce these inferences, without being accompanied by a feeling of ownership, that we are the owners of these responses. Which thereafter, puts into perspective the function of our consciousness, its role being to assure us that a tree is a tree and not something else. Only a pat in the shoulder.

Whereas the hard task of dealing with the harshness of life, the intractable computations we face in our daily lives, is left upon an underlying level of consciousness, be called unconscious or subconscious, or any other term someone feels comfortable with, as either of them have bundles of meanings with tarnished or distracting connotations. The main feature is that underlies our familiar, cherished consciousness, which certainly we are not aware of, when at work, or we were taught, indoctrinated, or learned not to be aware of, to ignore it. Myself, I let it do the work for me.

"Furthermore, these inferences are drawn with reference to a large body of background knowledge. This remarkable human ability seems paradoxical given the results about the complexity of reasoning reported by researchers in artificial intelligence."

A remarkable human ability but despite that, it seems paradoxical? Unreal?
The reason they are dumbfounded is because, as they state

"How can a system of simple and slow neuron-like elements represent a large body of systematic knowledge and perform a range of inferences with such speed?"

In other words, how can a system, (read: human individual), can be stupid and at the same time brilliant.

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