Showing posts from 2022

The Cartesian Theater of AI

The Cartesian Theater was an intuition pump proposed by philosopher Daniel Dennett to describe a false theory of consciousness. Inside the mind is a stage watched by a humunculus that observes what passes on the stage, hears the sounds, and controls the rest of the mind by responding to the action of what the smaller version of the self sees. Of course, what makes the smaller self conscious? It is an infinite regression. Our understanding of mind is that there is no such theater. There is no one place in the mind that is the locality of consciousness. I want to offer another thought experiment based on the concept of a Cartesian Theater. Imagine a theater containing a screen with a camera pointing at it, and a speaker with a microphone directed toward the speaker. The camera is pointing at the screen. The mic is pointing at the speaker. However, instead of there being an infinite loop due to a direct connection between the camera and screen, insert an AI in the loop. The imag

Training AI with culture

How is culture relevant to the training of artificial intelligence? A guess about the origin of human level intelligence is that it was mutually arising with complex society and culture, that is, with the origin and evolution of memes (Dawkins). Culture is composed of memes which are replicated by the two step process of being (1) recreated within a mind and then (2) enacted as some observable trait; creativity being necessary to reverse engineer the latent content of a meme, its meaning, in or order to accurately output the observable trait (Deutsch). A human using creativity serves memes as a kind of “meme machine” by making high fidelity copies of cultural artifacts or traits such as manners, rituals, totems, and tools (Blackmore). The complexity of cultural artifacts has grown exponentially from stone tools to space telescopes. Culture is a deep library of memes carrying objective knowledge. That knowledge contains within it truth about the world, while also being riddled with err