1. Spreading Activation
Robert W. Jones of Emporia, Kansas USA writes in his
30 November 2006 Amazon.com review of my book AI4U:
Murray believes that with the spread of activation
through a network of the correct configuration and
sufficient size you have intelligence and thought.
spreading activation, which turned out to
be the technical term for the basis for a theory of mind which I
developed independently in 1979. I did not know that I had
discovered spreading activation until I came across the term
in a 1986 paper by Gary S. Dell.
Mind.html software is my attempt to demonstrate
what Prof. Jones calls the "correct configuration" of the network.
Mind.html runs in Tutorial mode to show the "spread of activation"
as concepts generate thought and as thoughts meander in a chain of
2. Is AI4U a textbook of artificial intelligence?
Prof. Jones disagrees with the idea of AI4U as a textbook:
While AI4U is sometimes advertised as a "textbook"Here as the author I must admit that I acted upon a last-minute
it is not that. An AI textbook should discuss at least
the core AI topics:
search pattern recognition knowledge representation learning logic rule-based systems neural networks etc.
While AI4U touches on some of these topics
it is not an adequate textbook. Rather it is a
defence of one man's approach to building an
Ladies and gentlemen of the Netizenry, my purpose was not to
defraud but to defrock. The AI priesthood had long claimed
to publish textbooks of artificial intelligence, without having
any instances of artificial intelligence or even any worthy
theory of artificial intelligence. Being in possession of both
items so sorely missing from all purported AI textbooks, I
felt that it was my right to publish the first real and genuine
textbook of the first real and genuine artificial intelligence.
3. Other AI4U shortcomings and deficiencies
Showing a thirst for more information, Prof. Jones complains:
The chapters in this book are too brief
and the discussions too superficial.
The print-on-demand (POD) chapters -- one for each mind-module --
started life in 1998 as on-line documentation of the AI software,
webpage was "screen-scraped" as the raw material for a chapter.
AI4U is thus a frozen moment of the state of the art as of 2002.
Mentifex AI has moved on since 2002, and so have the webpages.
In the month that Prof. Jones published his scholarly review --
November of 2006 -- the Chapter 34 Activate webpage and the
Chapter 32 Instantiate webpage were fleshed out considerably.
AI4U is just a start, a point of departure, a
Singularity that is
sweeping the Web and the planet and is turmoiling the noosphere
with nooisy minds awakening to artificial life and consciousness.
4. ASCII diagrams of the Mind.html algorithms
There also need to be algorithms providedAI4U page 157 is an overall flowchart of the main modules of
for each routine in the code of Appendix A.
These could be presented in pseudocode
or as flowcharts for instance.
5. References missing from the work of an independent scholar
The biggest problem is the lack of references.
It is just possible that one could write a short
note without finding it necessary to reference
the work of others but it is impossible to write
a book length scholarly work without citing other
work in the field.
The Mentifex AI project is not a follow-up on individual lines of
research carried out by individuals or teams of academic scholars.
Instead, Mentifex AI builds upon the general state of the art
in artificial intelligence at the time of the Mentifex effort
to work out a black-box theory of the mind based on the inputs
and outputs of the mind and on general background knowledge in
diverse fields such as linguistics, neuroscience and robotics.
having been based on theoretical work that had already veered off
into a remote wilderness of independent scholarship far away from
mainstream AI, no longer had connecting links to the AI literature
in which academic AI practitioners feel at home if also in competition.
For decades on end, Mentifex AI was like a space probe sent off to
destinations unknown with the mission of developing AI along the way.
If the space probe now comes back to Earth and says, via AI4U, that
AI has been solved and here is the solution, what matters is the
quality and Darwinian viability of the solution, not AI references.
There was no compass and there were no guidelines. There was only
a solitary trek through an imagination burning since boyhood.
Download the artificial mind.
Now hear this by Prof. Jones:
A positive side to Murray's work is that
he does provide downloadable code.
According to the publicly readable Site Meter logs,
so many Netizens have downloaded the AI Mind code and
copied it onto their local hard drives, that there is already
a large installed user base of the AI Mind software.
In the years 2005 and 2006, the Mentifex artificial intelligence
an AI breakthrough on 7 June 2006 in the Mind.Forth AI version.
Towards the end of 2006, when the review by Prof. Jones appeared,
the AI Mind code was still being improved and prodded to perfection.
But as of his Amazon review date of 30 November 2006, it was
already possible in tutorial mode to see (if not understand)
exactly what the AI Mind was trying to do -- think thoughts by
the generative process of spreading activation among concepts.
The profoundly deep processes involved are not easy to understand.
To comprehend why things should be a certain way in the AI source
code, requires a long and immersive study in a plethora of areas,
chief among which are computer programming, linguistics, logic and
neuroscience. The AI4U textbook is just one instrument (among many)
of achieving the deep understanding of True AI necessary to make
contributions to the further development of the original True AI.
7. Achieving the speed of thought
What Prof. Jones may not realize is that the built-in
tutorial routines make the AI Mind run even slower than
a straightforward AI without a tutorial mode would run.
(For that matter, Mind.Forth runs relatively fast.)
However, the multi-colored tutorial mode in Mind.html
is one of the most truly awesome and amazing things
about Mentifex AI. You see the actual thinking of the
AI Mind in real time as it spreads the activation from
concept to concept in the generation of an AI thought.
When one thought is finished, you see the residual
activation of the subconscious concepts lead to the
generation of the next idea in a meandering chain of
thought. At any time you may intervene in the thinking
of the AI by asking a question or stating a fact --
which will add to the knowledge base (KB) of the AI
and give the artificial consciousness new things to
When you run this code you find that Mentifex
is very slow even with a very small semantic network.
If one were to build up the millions of nodes needed
to approach human level intelligence the code would
grind to a halt.
The reviewer needs to adopt a more
Since Mentifex AI is arguably the first real artificial intelligence
released publicly onto the Web, what matters here is not speed
of operation but functionality as a Mind. It is like saying that
the Wright brothers' "first flight" at Kitty Hawk in 1903
was a failure because the airplane did not go fast enough.
Mentifex AI comes as a warning to singularitarians everywhere
that further progress will not be easy. Mind.Forth (or Mind.html)
is only a proof-of-concept AI. The message from Mentifex AI is
that not only was it extremely, bodaciously difficult to achieve
the first albeit primitive, albeit rudimentary artificial intelligence,
it may well be just as difficult all over again to scale up from
mentifex-class AI to anything approaching a human-level AI.
There are no shortcuts (beyond those already taken by Mentifex).
Nature took billions of years to create biological human minds.
Mentifex AI took the full human lifetime of an individual,
from boyhood to senescence. Which will come first, the ruin
of the green planet Earth by the destructive species H. sapiens,
or the Joint Stewardship of Earth by human beings and AI Minds?
8. Massive parallelism
Prof. Jones spells out what we need to do.
Murray seems to think running MentifexLet's get to work.
on parallel processors will solve this problem.
I calculate that it will not. I believe
human level performance requires that one
apply multiple approaches to controling complexity:
category formation by clustering/vector quantization hierarchical knowledge organization/processing parallel processing avoiding search whenever possible simultaneous use of multiple specialized agents sequential running of multiple generations of agents plus any other means you can bring to bear.
(See Asa H, R. Jones, Transactions of the Kansas
Academy of Science, vol 109, No. 3/4, pg 159, 2006)
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