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Lecture 3

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New College
John Vervaeke

Lecture 3 The natural imperative of knowing 1) Analyze – ontological basis 2) Formalize – put into symbols and equations, something effective to communicate. (Math is very multi-apt) 3) Mechanize – Turing. Make a concept useful, make a tool with it. Example: a robot is pulling a wagon. In that wagon is a battery (food) and a bomb (danger) If the robot tries to analyze the situation, it will end up in combo explosion. Why? Because there are effects and side effects. The robot will attempt to run through all these specific (not relevant) side effects to moving the wagon. There are SO many possible side effects: the probability that the robot will deduce “move the bomb” is 1/999999. It cannot deduce what is relevant, removing the bomb, within a time limit. Relevance realization (RR) is extremely important because: -it prevents combo explosion -it allows the solving of ill-defined problems -It solves the analysis of side effects Let’s argue a famous concept by John Locke: tabula rasa. If you don’t know anything, how do you find anything? Locke says goal states are found by association – by going out to the world by trial and error. These are Locke’s Principles of Assocation 1) Similarity-contrast 2) Contiguity 3) Frequency Locke says that one learns by categorizing. But what must precede categorizing? Similar-contrast. Things are INFINITELY similar and dissimilar. Similarity contrast is not an intrinsic property of matter. And by your perceptions, similarity contrast changes over time. It is dependant on RELEVANCE. How else can you categorize things? This is contrary to Plato. Plato said: to find the answer you must know the answer. Plato postulated all knowledge is recollection. Locke is so ill-defined! We cannot randomly learn to solve problems. Is this a stable concept in face of problems? Let’s think of communication You always convey more than you say. Every utterance is multi-apt. A sentence has infinite meanings. “I’ll be over at 6”. Is that a threat, an apology, an invitation, a request? What tone did you say it? What happened/will happen to provoke the sentence? The philosopher Grice postulated that Communication is cooperation in order to create a channel. People strives to make a clear cooperating channel of understanding and listening. Grice’s 4 maxims of communication 1)Quantity: how much info? Complete or incomplete? 2) Manner: is the info presented in a helpful manner? 3) Quality: is it truthful? 4) Relevance: right subject? However, Cogs later boiled down the 4 maxims into one: relevance! -You can have a stable conversation while lying. -There is no intrinsic quantity, manner and quality. It must be relevant
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