Intelligent Systems and their Societies Walter Fritz

 

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A Scientific Philosophy

 

Philosophy has slowly changed, throughout the centuries, from a speculative thought construction into a science. Now, with the study of intelligent systems we can take the last step in this process and finish the change of philosophy into a science. With the help of this science, we can better understand ourselves and our environment and we can act in such a way as to reach our desires, our objectives.

 


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The Environment is Understandable
The History of Philosophy
The Great Philosophical Fallacy
Ancient Philosophies
Let's start with the Artificial Intelligent System
Persons as Intelligent Systems
Senses and Environment
Concepts
Language
Response Rules, - The Process of Thinking
Being Conscious
Emotions
Art
Government
Fundamental Philosophical Questions


 

The Environment is Understandable
It is astonishing that the intelligent system can observe its environment and realize that it can understand it up to a certain point. The intelligent system observes that in the same situation, that which occurs afterwards is similar, is predictable. Sometimes the correlation between before and afterwards is near 100 percent. In other occasions there is less correlation, and it can make only a statistical prediction that a certain event will occur. For instance, when throwing dice, there is only a probability that the face with the "5" will be on top.

Also the IS observes that some events are occurrences in the environment with a correlation between one event and the other. But in other cases an intelligent system is involved. There we can talk about cause. An intelligent system acted, and caused the change in the environment.

 

The History of Philosophy
Originally philosophy (the love of wisdom) was an all inclusive effort to understand ourselves and our environment. Later the sciences split off from philosophy and became separate fields of study. It seems that now the study of intelligent systems is completing this process and no non scientific study will remain within philosophy. For details on intelligent systems see: The Intelligent System (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

 

The Great Philosophical Fallacy
Many times philosophy was a process of building up a well worked out system of thought, but based on very little information, on not completely verified facts and on inexact definitions of concepts. All this leads to errors. Often the concepts used where not defined, since "everybody knows what we mean by this".
The study of intelligent systems has shown that all persons have slightly different concepts related to a given word. The farer away a concept is from sense information, the more the concept varies between persons, and should be defined very carefully. For instance "idealism" considers that "reality" is the contents of the mind, whereas "realism" considers that "reality" is the environment.

In contrast to philosophy, the scientific method of understanding ourselves and our environment has as a fundamental characteristic that the conclusions of thought have to be checked by experiment. As a result we obtain firm knowledge in place of beliefs, based on thought.

 

Ancient Philosophies
Here we observe the ancient Greek philosophies (Enter for continuous reading, like a book). from the point of view of intelligent systems.

 

Lets Start with the Artificial Intelligent System
When we study artificial intelligent systems, the difference between objective and subjective processes disappears. Both, the environment and the processes within the brain, based on concepts and response rules, are material and can be observed.
It is very important that now we have a tool for comparison. When we only observed the human intelligence, we missed a mirror. It is difficult to analyze the mind with the mind itself. But now we have this mirror. We have the artificial intelligent system. This system is different and outside our mind. It is different in material realization, but it is identical in function. It has objectives, can learn, can form concepts and argue with them, the same as we can.

There is a repetitive cycle of processes in the artificial intelligent system. First the system observes its environment. Then it creates an internal representation of the environment, the present situation. Now, using its memory of experiences, the system decides which action to do, to get nearer its objective. Finally it acts and the cycle repeats. As we can see, the system is only occupied with itself, it is the center of its universe.

 

Persons as Intelligent Systems
We can look at a person as an employee, as a father or mother; in different circumstances, we can look at a person from many different points of view. But when we are concerned with how a person acts, the correct point of view is that of seeing the person as an intelligent system.

Above we have seen the automatic sequence of processes in an artificial intelligent system. In a person we can also observe all of these. But a person does not always follow the same sequence of processes. Many times a person decides to do an action, then she thinks about what she really wanted to do, and possibly only then looks at its environment. Naturally this unordered sequence of processes is not as effective as the ordered process of the artificial intelligent system.

 

Senses and Environment
The IS cannot know its environment. All information that it receives from the outside, it receives through its senses. The type of information it can capture from the environment, depends on the types of senses it has.
The same is true for ourselves, for persons. As the philosopher Kant said, we cannot know the "thing itself" in the environment. We can only deduce that which affects our senses directly or indirectly.
The information from our senses is inexact, because our senses are inexact. They are incomplete because our senses cannot capture all the emanations from the thing itself, out there in the environment, for instance, electric fields...
See Senses for more details.

 

Concepts
There are three aspects to each "thing", each part of the universe. First there is the "thing itself" in the environment. Then there is the concept that the IS creates from sense information and which exists only in the mind. Finally there is the name, the manner how the IS refers to the concept when communicating.

From the environment only the sense impressions can be know; that includes the position sense and sensing the movement of parts of the body. Concepts can be build up from other concepts, but, in the last instance, all concepts are based on sense information (This is what investigators of artificial intelligence call symbol grounding). See Symbol grounding (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

Concepts are not absolute and eternal entities, they are learned and material. In the artificial IS they can be observed. In persons they are represented as neural nets and they are different for each person, since they are learned from personal experience.
Based on elementary concepts, created from experiences, the IS creates abstract and concrete concepts, total and part concepts, and it interconnects them all into a web. Part of these interconnected concepts are concepts on how the related word is written, how it is read, how it sounds and how it is pronounced.

The most important property of a concept is its usefulness. A concept does not indicate what X (in the environment) "really" is, it is a concept for X, based on sense information, and is useful for thinking.

 

Language
Most people believe that we think with words, but that is not the case. When we speak silently while we think, we use words for storing and remembering the results of thought. See Concepts (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

We use the language for communication. But language is not thought. We think with concepts and response rules. The words refer to concepts, but since all persons have slightly different concepts, words have a slightly different meaning for the one speaking and the person listening. "What is a camel?" The answer is not the complete concept, but a few words related to the concept "camel" of the person that answers.

In daily use, and also in written communications, words are often incorrectly used. For instance: "History teaches us...". Since "history" is a concept and not an intelligent system in the environment, it cannot act, it cannot teach. But we certainly can learn from documents about history.

Also, while "the present" is the environment, something outside the intelligent system, "the past" and "the future" are only concepts. They do not exist outside of our mind. It is important to always realize, what is only a concept in our mind and what is a concept that refers to something in the environment.

 

Response Rules - The Process of Thinking
Response rules consist mainly of the present situation, expressed with concepts, the concept for the action to be done, and the future resulting situation, also expressed with concepts. See Response rules (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).
The intelligent system creates response rules based on its experience. In persons, neural fields correspond to response rules.

Response rules express the repetition which we find in the environment; namely that for a certain present situation the future one is always the same. In science this is called a natural law and these exist only in the mind or in written communications, they are not part of the environment.

Persons that live in different environments (Eskimos - Polynesians) have different experiences. Therefore their response rules are different. They have different "mindscapes". See Mindscapes (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now) and Mental Methods and Chains of Response Rules: Habits (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

All thinking is done with these learned response rules. As a result, we act both in the environment and inside the mind (for instance, doing arithmetic).

 

Being Conscious
We say that human beings are “conscious”. Let´s have a look at what exactly is “being conscious”:
There are three different activities involved in being conscious.
1) The brain, using the senses, builds up an internal representation of the environment. When the brain reads this representation, it is conscious of the environment.
2) The brain stores experiences of the person in its memory. When it reads these experiences, as a guide for selecting an action, it is conscious of its experiences.
3) The brain notes the internal representation of an intended action. It is conscious of what it intends to do.

Please note that an artificial brain, created inside a computer, is conscious if the three above shown activities have been programmed. In fact these activities are needed to perform reasonable actions.

 

Emotions
Emotions are an indicator of how near we and others are in reaching our objectives. We are happy, when we reached our objective. We are sad when we could not reach our objective. For more information see Emotions and Energy (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

 

Art
When we look at a painting or hear music, we are aware of patterns, of relationships between parts of the piece of art. Finding patterns is a fundamental process of the mind, and is pleasurable. Also hearing or seeing art creates emotions in us.

 

Government
We live within the human society. This society provides us with knowledge and material objects that previous generations have created and accumulated. Without our society, living alone, we would be without clothing, tools, electricity. We would live like animals. For details see: The Importance of Societies (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

This society needs a group of persons directing it, the governing subsociety. What would be the best type of government for us as intelligent systems? Since all IS try to reach their objectives, such a government should permit and help us to act any way we wish for reaching our objectives, as long as we do not hinder other members of our society to reach their objectives.
Lets have a look at the corresponding Basic Principles on which such a government could be based (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).
Here is a proposal for a good government for persons as IS's. See Proposal for Improving Government and Society (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

 

Fundamental Philosophical Questions
Let's first have a look at a special type of question. "Why" is always related to an IS. "Why" can be a question about the objective of the related IS, it can also be a question about the rule or law or natural law that an IS created and that is applicable. But it is incorrect to ask "why" in a situation where no IS is involved. That is a question without object and has no answer. We cannot always ask "why".
Here are answers to Some very fundamental Philosophical Questions (Enter for continuous reading, like a book). Probably the most important question is "why do we live?". See a detailed answer here (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).

 

It seems very important to study scientifically just how the interplay between the environment and the mind occurs. We can now change the philosophic view of the world into a scientific point of view, experimentally supported.

 

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Last Edited 22 Oct 2014 / Walter Fritz
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