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Re: [ontolog-forum] Toward Human-Level Artificial Intelligence

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From: John Bottoms <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 13:03:09 -0400
Message-id: <535A954D.7050903@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 4/25/2014 12:01 PM, John F Sowa wrote:
Kingsley and John B,

But there have been some people who claimed that you need a distinct
URI for every sense of every word.
All we can do is provide unique identifiers that denote entities
in a given world view (or situation)...
Basically, as our world view expands we discover new insights etc.
Yes.  The world is a continuum.  We can name some discrete points, but
we can't describe a continuum with any set of discrete identifiers.
Some insights can be described in words, but there are too many
subtle variations -- uncountably many.

Mathematicians can still read any equation over the phone to another
mathematician as a sentence in whatever NL they share.
Not just mathematicians, this is true in every profession. I am not
sure how to prove that...
There is no proof, but there is a simple explanation.  In every field,
the practitioners name the things and methods they use and produce.
The novices learn and use the same words and syntax.
It may be that we will eventually be able to prove this. This will have to wait until we have a better grasp on the science behind meta-grammars. It seems that these discussions entail the need for human-like memories that record state information. The professionals doing the discussions have similar understanding of the foundations of their field. For example, the discussion here on axioms should take place with one eye on Thomas' Kuhn's view that all science comes down, as does law, to "the reasonable man" argument. We must be able to prove to another that our axiom is reasonable to another who can then declare that it is a foregone conclusion. It is my observation that axioms differ from discipline to discipline. As we know, surveyors do not have the same axioms as cosmologists.
Two professionals discussing their fields seem to do just fine while
waiting in an airport lounge. Sure, one of them may say, "you'll need
to draw me a picture". That seems to be a call to use a shorthand
notation in the interests of time.
Symbols like '+' are abbreviations for the words or phrases.  Some 
diagrams are designed to be translated to and from discrete symbols.
But no words can describe a complex image -- such as a human face.
Agreed, and I view sketches and drawings as another type of shorthand or markup language. And here I prefer the definition of language and linguistics as the science that links forms of speech to ideas. Without both of these parts we really don't have language. One of my personal concerns is that the use of markup languages is extending beyond internal representations. We should always have translators to interface to markup languages. Without this additional level of abstraction we will not make progress toward more abstract machine reasoning. And for all of this, we can expect to see future systems that store much more information and knowledge than the stingy algorithms we currently use.
Given enough time we humans can and must be able to conjure up an
appropriate image to get an idea across if both are professionals
in the same discipline.
There's a big difference between "conjuring up" and specifying.
I agree, but part of an engaging discussion is in determining where in the lattice of abstract concepts the other person is "pointing". The "conjuring" is done in an attempt to see if there is agreement on the specific level of abstraction that is common in the discussion. Only after there is agreement on the "locale" can any discussion about the specification, meaning or extension of an entity take place.
Just consider any profession from cooking to music to nuclear physics.
Two cooks can follow the same recipe and get wildly different results.
Jascha Heifetz and the kid next door can play the same notes, but
there's a world of difference in the results.
Yes, I agree. My cooking is substantially Southern because that is what I inherited from my family. I would imagine that the same is true of practice in professions. As in medicine's "the Science of Medicine" (SOM) and "the Art of Medicine", we will increasingly become aware for this dichotomy in other fields. Again, this is an under-discussed aspect of most professions.
In physics, experimenters have to deal with the full continuum of
pesky details that theoreticians ignore.  George Gamow told the
following anecdote about Wolfgang Pauli:
Gamow is a great storyteller. I wish his book "One, Two, Three, Infinity..." got more exposure, it is one of the best works in popular mathematics. It also has one of the best collections of anecdotes about lightning calculators I have ever read. I believe he also points out that Ampere and Gauss were both lightning calculators until they developed their critical thinking skills. He suggests there is a trade-off between these skills in the brain's repertoire of skills.

-John Bottoms
 FirstStar Systems
 Concord, MA USA
Pauli was such a good theoretical physicist that something usually
broke in the lab whenever he merely stepped across the threshold.
A mysterious event that did not seem at first to be connected with
Pauli presence once occurred in Professor Franck's laboratory in

Early one afternoon, without apparent cause, a complicated  apparatus
for the study of atomic phenomena collapsed. Franck wrote  humorously
about this to Pauli at his Zurich address and, after some  delay,
received an answer in an envelope with a Danish stamp. Pauli wrote
that he had gone to visit Niels Bohr, and at the time of the mishap
in Franck's laboratory his train was stopped for a few minutes at
the Göttingen railroad station.
Source: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-12648047.html


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