Oct 9, 2007

Above All, Know Thyself

Humans are complex, non-linear, evolving equations. We are by far what Artificial Intelligence is not. Consider the following quote, minus the warfare context.

Information, the first principle of warfare, must form the foundation of all your efforts. Know, of course, thine enemy. But in knowing him do not forget above all to know thyself. The commander who embraces this totality of battle shall win even with the inferior force.

Spartan Battle Manual (Alpha Centauri)
If we want to improve the way AI acts, we should first understand how we act. What are the things that affect your day, outside of the influences of other people? Mind, body, time, location. (If you think of others, please share!)

You act differently based upon where you are, do you not? If your in a class room, out of politeness, you don't speak out of turn. This rule can be overridden by anger, an emotion.

Another emotion that has a play on your actions is fear. It prevents, or in the very least hinders, your ability to perform normal task, but can increase your ability to do specific task. Such task are usually avoiding particular things, or removing yourself from the presence of such things. Lingering fear and anger after their useful period leads to problems.

If your body tells you that it is hungry, your priority of tasks shift from long term activities (such as keeping your job by continuing to work) to short term needs. This trigger of task shifting can be caused by time rather than your body. Merely realizing its noon puts your mind on a normal task of that time (FOOD!).

Not only are we complex, non-linear, evolving equations, but each of us provide another variable to the great number of those around us. Some are a variable to a greater number than others, such as Walt Disney as opposed to Mark Kinney1 (by a show of hands, who knows Walt, and who knows Mark?). Some have a larger influence on those that they are a variable to, such as Britney Spears2 to Chris Plummer3 (of those that know both of these people, which are you more likely to listen to? Baldy or Shiro? OK, so I'm influencing your decision, but your getting my point.).

To create something that is artificial of something we have, we should first understand the non-artificial version first. It has been a long time since the Dartmouth conference (51 years!), and it will likely still be a long time until we are done with this subject.

1Mark Kinney - A friend from High School that joined the army. For your own point of view, replace his name above with someone you know from a small town.
2Britney Spears - I would link to her homepage, but its not work appropriate.
3Chris Plummer - My brother who has leadership and charisma, even if he doesn't know it himself.

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