OKSIMO MEETS POPPER. Popper’s Position

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 31.March – 31.March  2021
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

This text is part of a philosophy of science  analysis of the case of the oksimo software (oksimo.com). A specification of the oksimo software from an engineering point of view can be found in four consecutive  posts dedicated to the HMI-Analysis for  this software.

POPPERs POSITION IN THE CHAPTERS 1-17

In my reading of the chapters 1-17 of Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery [1] I see the following three main concepts which are interrelated: (i) the concept of a scientific theory, (ii) the point of view of a meta-theory about scientific theories, and (iii) possible empirical interpretations of scientific theories.

Scientific Theory

A scientific theory is according to Popper a collection of universal statements AX, accompanied by a concept of logical inference , which allows the deduction of a certain theorem t  if one makes  some additional concrete assumptions H.

Example: Theory T1 = <AX1,>

AX1= {Birds can fly}

H1= {Peter is  a bird}

: Peter can fly

Because  there exists a concrete object which is classified as a bird and this concrete bird with the name ‘Peter’ can  fly one can infer that the universal statement could be verified by this concrete bird. But the question remains open whether all observable concrete objects classifiable as birds can fly.

One could continue with observations of several hundreds of concrete birds but according to Popper this would not prove the theory T1 completely true. Such a procedure can only support a numerical universality understood as a conjunction of finitely many observations about concrete birds   like ‘Peter can fly’ & ‘Mary can fly’ & …. &’AH2 can fly’.(cf. p.62)

The only procedure which is applicable to a universal theory according to Popper is to falsify a theory by only one observation like ‘Doxy is a bird’ and ‘Doxy cannot fly’. Then one could construct the following inference:

AX1= {Birds can fly}

H2= {Doxy is  a bird, Doxy cannot fly}

: ‘Doxy can fly’ & ~’Doxy can fly’

If a statement A can be inferred and simultaneously the negation ~A then this is called a logical contradiction:

{AX1, H2}  ‘Doxy can fly’ & ~’Doxy can fly’

In this case the set {AX1, H2} is called inconsistent.

If a set of statements is classified as inconsistent then you can derive from this set everything. In this case you cannot any more distinguish between true or false statements.

Thus while the increase of the number of confirmed observations can only increase the trust in the axioms of a scientific theory T without enabling an absolute proof  a falsification of a theory T can destroy the ability  of this  theory to distinguish between true and false statements.

Another idea associated with this structure of a scientific theory is that the universal statements using universal concepts are strictly speaking speculative ideas which deserve some faith that these concepts will be provable every time one will try  it.(cf. p.33, 63)

Meta Theory, Logic of Scientific Discovery, Philosophy of Science

Talking about scientific theories has at least two aspects: scientific theories as objects and those who talk about these objects.

Those who talk about are usually Philosophers of Science which are only a special kind of Philosophers, e.g. a person  like Popper.

Reading the text of Popper one can identify the following elements which seem to be important to describe scientific theories in a more broader framework:

A scientific theory from a point of  view of Philosophy of Science represents a structure like the following one (minimal version):

MT=<S, A[μ], E, L, AX, , ET, E+, E-, true, false, contradiction, inconsistent>

In a shared empirical situation S there are some human actors A as experts producing expressions E of some language L.  Based on their built-in adaptive meaning function μ the human actors A can relate  properties of the situation S with expressions E of L.  Those expressions E which are considered to be observable and classified to be true are called true expressions E+, others are called false expressions  E-. Both sets of expressions are true subsets of E: E+ ⊂ E  and E- ⊂ E. Additionally the experts can define some special  set of expressions called axioms  AX which are universal statements which allow the logical derivation of expressions called theorems of the theory T  ET which are called logically true. If one combines the set of axioms AX with some set of empirically true expressions E+ as {AX, E+} then one can logically derive either  only expressions which are logically true and as well empirically true, or one can derive logically true expressions which are empirically true and empirically false at the same time, see the example from the paragraph before:

{AX1, H2}  ‘Doxy can fly’ & ~’Doxy can fly’

Such a case of a logically derived contradiction A and ~A tells about the set of axioms AX unified with the empirical true expressions  that this unified set  confronted with the known true empirical expressions is becoming inconsistent: the axioms AX unified with true empirical expressions  can not  distinguish between true and false expressions.

Popper gives some general requirements for the axioms of a theory (cf. p.71):

  1. Axioms must be free from contradiction.
  2. The axioms  must be independent , i.e . they must not contain any axiom deducible from the remaining axioms.
  3. The axioms should be sufficient for the deduction of all statements belonging to the theory which is to be axiomatized.

While the requirements (1) and (2) are purely logical and can be proved directly is the requirement (3) different: to know whether the theory covers all statements which are intended by the experts as the subject area is presupposing that all aspects of an empirical environment are already know. In the case of true empirical theories this seems not to be plausible. Rather we have to assume an open process which generates some hypothetical universal expressions which ideally will not be falsified but if so, then the theory has to be adapted to the new insights.

Empirical Interpretation(s)

Popper assumes that the universal statements  of scientific theories   are linguistic representations, and this means  they are systems of signs or symbols. (cf. p.60) Expressions as such have no meaning.  Meaning comes into play only if the human actors are using their built-in meaning function and set up a coordinated meaning function which allows all participating experts to map properties of the empirical situation S into the used expressions as E+ (expressions classified as being actually true),  or E- (expressions classified as being actually false) or AX (expressions having an abstract meaning space which can become true or false depending from the activated meaning function).

Examples:

  1. Two human actors in a situation S agree about the  fact, that there is ‘something’ which  they classify as a ‘bird’. Thus someone could say ‘There is something which is a bird’ or ‘There is  some bird’ or ‘There is a bird’. If there are two somethings which are ‘understood’ as being a bird then they could say ‘There are two birds’ or ‘There is a blue bird’ (If the one has the color ‘blue’) and ‘There is a red bird’ or ‘There are two birds. The one is blue and the other is red’. This shows that human actors can relate their ‘concrete perceptions’ with more abstract  concepts and can map these concepts into expressions. According to Popper in this way ‘bottom-up’ only numerical universal concepts can be constructed. But logically there are only two cases: concrete (one) or abstract (more than one).  To say that there is a ‘something’ or to say there is a ‘bird’ establishes a general concept which is independent from the number of its possible instances.
  2. These concrete somethings each classified as a ‘bird’ can ‘move’ from one position to another by ‘walking’ or by ‘flying’. While ‘walking’ they are changing the position connected to the ‘ground’ while during ‘flying’ they ‘go up in the air’.  If a human actor throws a stone up in the air the stone will come back to the ground. A bird which is going up in the air can stay there and move around in the air for a long while. Thus ‘flying’ is different to ‘throwing something’ up in the air.
  3. The  expression ‘A bird can fly’ understood as an expression which can be connected to the daily experience of bird-objects moving around in the air can be empirically interpreted, but only if there exists such a mapping called meaning function. Without a meaning function the expression ‘A bird can fly’ has no meaning as such.
  4. To use other expressions like ‘X can fly’ or ‘A bird can Y’ or ‘Y(X)’  they have the same fate: without a meaning function they have no meaning, but associated with a meaning function they can be interpreted. For instance saying the the form of the expression ‘Y(X)’ shall be interpreted as ‘Predicate(Object)’ and that a possible ‘instance’ for a predicate could be ‘Can Fly’ and for an object ‘a bird’ then we could get ‘Can Fly(a Bird)’ translated as ‘The object ‘a Bird’ has the property ‘can fly” or shortly ‘A Bird can fly’. This usually would be used as a possible candidate for the daily meaning function which relates this expression to those somethings which can move up in the air.
Axioms and Empirical Interpretations

The basic idea with a system of axioms AX is — according to Popper —  that the axioms as universal expressions represent  a system of equations where  the  general terms   should be able to be substituted by certain values. The set of admissible values is different from the set of  inadmissible values. The relation between those values which can be substituted for the terms  is called satisfaction: the values satisfy the terms with regard to the relations! And Popper introduces the term ‘model‘ for that set of admissible terms which can satisfy the equations.(cf. p.72f)

But Popper has difficulties with an axiomatic system interpreted as a system of equations  since it cannot be refuted by the falsification of its consequences ; for these too must be analytic.(cf. p.73) His main problem with axioms is,  that “the concepts which are to be used in the axiomatic system should be universal names, which cannot be defined by empirical indications, pointing, etc . They can be defined if at all only explicitly, with the help of other universal names; otherwise they can only be left undefined. That some universal names should remain undefined is therefore quite unavoidable; and herein lies the difficulty…” (p.74)

On the other hand Popper knows that “…it is usually possible for the primitive concepts of an axiomatic system such as geometry to be correlated with, or interpreted by, the concepts of another system , e.g . physics …. In such cases it may be possible to define the fundamental concepts of the new system with the help of concepts which were originally used in some of the old systems .”(p.75)

But the translation of the expressions of one system (geometry) in the expressions of another system (physics) does not necessarily solve his problem of the non-empirical character of universal terms. Especially physics is using also universal or abstract terms which as such have no meaning. To verify or falsify physical theories one has to show how the abstract terms of physics can be related to observable matters which can be decided to be true or not.

Thus the argument goes back to the primary problem of Popper that universal names cannot not be directly be interpreted in an empirically decidable way.

As the preceding examples (1) – (4) do show for human actors it is no principal problem to relate any kind of abstract expressions to some concrete real matters. The solution to the problem is given by the fact that expressions E  of some language L never will be used in isolation! The usage of expressions is always connected to human actors using expressions as part of a language L which consists  together with the set of possible expressions E also with the built-in meaning function μ which can map expressions into internal structures IS which are related to perceptions of the surrounding empirical situation S. Although these internal structures are processed internally in highly complex manners and  are — as we know today — no 1-to-1 mappings of the surrounding empirical situation S, they are related to S and therefore every kind of expressions — even those with so-called abstract or universal concepts — can be mapped into something real if the human actors agree about such mappings!

Example:

Lets us have a look to another  example.

If we take the system of axioms AX as the following schema:  AX= {a+b=c}. This schema as such has no clear meaning. But if the experts interpret it as an operation ‘+’ with some arguments as part of a math theory then one can construct a simple (partial) model m  as follows: m={<1,2,3>, <2,3,5>}. The values are again given as  a set of symbols which as such must not ave a meaning but in common usage they will be interpreted as sets of numbers   which can satisfy the general concept of the equation.  In this secondary interpretation m is becoming  a logically true (partial) model for the axiom Ax, whose empirical meaning is still unclear.

It is conceivable that one is using this formalism to describe empirical facts like the description of a group of humans collecting some objects. Different people are bringing  objects; the individual contributions will be  reported on a sheet of paper and at the same time they put their objects in some box. Sometimes someone is looking to the box and he will count the objects of the box. If it has been noted that A brought 1 egg and B brought 2 eggs then there should according to the theory be 3 eggs in the box. But perhaps only 2 could be found. Then there would be a difference between the logically derived forecast of the theory 1+2 = 3  and the empirically measured value 1+2 = 2. If one would  define all examples of measurement a+b=c’ as contradiction in that case where we assume a+b=c as theoretically given and c’ ≠ c, then we would have with  ‘1+2 = 3′ & ~’1+2 = 3’ a logically derived contradiction which leads to the inconsistency of the assumed system. But in reality the usual reaction of the counting person would not be to declare the system inconsistent but rather to suggest that some unknown actor has taken against the agreed rules one egg from the box. To prove his suggestion he had to find this unknown actor and to show that he has taken the egg … perhaps not a simple task … But what will the next authority do: will the authority belief  the suggestion of the counting person or will the authority blame the counter that eventually he himself has taken the missing egg? But would this make sense? Why should the counter write the notes how many eggs have been delivered to make a difference visible? …

Thus to interpret some abstract expression with regard to some observable reality is not a principal problem, but it can eventually be unsolvable by purely practical reasons, leaving questions of empirical soundness open.

SOURCES

[1] Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, First published 1935 in German as Logik der Forschung, then 1959 in English by  Basic Books, New York (more editions have been published  later; I am using the eBook version of Routledge (2002))

 

 

THE OKSIMO CASE as SUBJECT FOR PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. Part 1

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 22.March – 23.March 2021
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

This text is part of a philosophy of science  analysis of the case of the oksimo software (oksimo.com). A specification of the oksimo software from an engineering point of view can be found in four consecutive  posts dedicated to the HMI-Analysis for  this software.

THE OKSIMO EVENT SPACE

The characterization of the oksimo software paradigm starts with an informal characterization  of the oksimo software event space.

EVENT SPACE

An event space is a space which can be filled up by observable events fitting to the species-specific internal processed environment representations [1], [2] here called internal environments [ENVint]. Thus the same external environment [ENV] can be represented in the presence of  10 different species  in 10 different internal formats. Thus the expression ‘environment’ [ENV] is an abstract concept assuming an objective reality which is common to all living species but indeed it is processed by every species in a species-specific way.

In a human culture the usual point of view [ENVhum] is simultaneous with all the other points of views [ENVa] of all the other other species a.

In the ideal case it would be possible to translate all species-specific views ENVa into a symbolic representation which in turn could then be translated into the human point of view ENVhum. Then — in the ideal case — we could define the term environment [ENV] as the sum of all the different species-specific views translated in a human specific language: ∑ENVa = ENV.

But, because such a generalized view of the environment is until today not really possible by  practical reasons we will use here for the beginning only expressions related to the human specific point of view [ENVhum] using as language an ordinary language [L], here  the English language [LEN]. Every scientific language — e.g. the language of physics — is understood here as a sub language of the ordinary language.

EVENTS

An event [EV] within an event space [ENVa] is a change [X] which can be observed at least from the  members of that species [SP] a which is part of that environment ENV which enables  a species-specific event space [ENVa]. Possibly there can be other actors around in the environment ENV from different species with their specific event space [ENVa] where the content of the different event spaces  can possible   overlap with regard to  certain events.

A behavior is some observable movement of the body of some actor.

Changes X can be associated with certain behavior of certain actors or with non-actor conditions.

Thus when there are some human or non-human  actors in an environment which are moving than they show a behavior which can eventually be associated with some observable changes.

CHANGE

Besides being   associated with observable events in the (species specific) environment the expression  change is understood here as a kind of inner state in an actor which can compare past (stored) states Spast with an actual state SnowIf the past and actual state differ in some observable aspect Diff(Spast, Snow) ≠ 0, then there exists some change X, or Diff(Spast, Snow) = X. Usually the actor perceiving a change X will assume that this internal structure represents something external to the brain, but this must not necessarily be the case. It is of help if there are other human actors which confirm such a change perception although even this does not guarantee that there really is a  change occurring. In the real world it is possible that a whole group of human actors can have a wrong interpretation.

SYMBOLIC COMMUNICATION AND MEANING

It is a specialty of human actors — to some degree shared by other non-human biological actors — that they not only can built up internal representations ENVint of the reality external to the  brain (the body itself or the world beyond the body) which are mostly unconscious, partially conscious, but also they can built up structures of expressions of an internal language Lint which can be mimicked to a high degree by expressions in the body-external environment ENV called expressions of an ordinary language L.

For this to work one  has  to assume that there exists an internal mapping from internal representations ENVint into the expressions of the internal language   Lint as

meaning : ENVint <—> Lint.

and

speaking: Lint —> L

hearing: Lint <— L

Thus human actors can use their ordinary language L to activate internal encodings/ decodings with regard to the internal representations ENVint  gained so far. This is called here symbolic communication.

NO SPEECH ACTS

To classify the occurrences of symbolic expressions during a symbolic communication  is a nearly infinite undertaking. First impressions of the unsolvability of such a classification task can be gained if one reads the Philosophical Investigations of Ludwig Wittgenstein. [5] Later trials from different philosophers and scientists  — e.g. under the heading of speech acts [4] — can  not fully convince until today.

Instead of assuming here a complete scientific framework to classify  occurrences of symbolic expressions of an ordinary language L we will only look to some examples and discuss these.

KINDS OF EXPRESSIONS

In what follows we will look to some selected examples of symbolic expressions and discuss these.

(Decidable) Concrete Expressions [(D)CE]

It is assumed here that two human actors A and B  speaking the same ordinary language L  are capable in a concrete situation S to describe objects  OBJ and properties PROP of this situation in a way, that the hearer of a concrete expression E can decide whether the encoded meaning of that expression produced by the speaker is part of the observable situation S or not.

Thus, if A and B are together in a room with a wooden  white table and there is a enough light for an observation then   B can understand what A is saying if he states ‘There is a white wooden table.

To understand means here that both human actors are able to perceive the wooden white table as an object with properties, their brains will transform these external signals into internal neural signals forming an inner — not 1-to-1 — representation ENVint which can further be mapped by the learned meaning function into expressions of the inner language Lint and mapped further — by the speaker — into the external expressions of the learned ordinary language L and if the hearer can hear these spoken expressions he can translate the external expressions into the internal expressions which can be mapped onto the learned internal representations ENVint. In everyday situations there exists a high probability that the hearer then can respond with a spoken ‘Yes, that’s true’.

If this happens that some human actor is uttering a symbolic expression with regard to some observable property of the external environment  and the other human actor does respond with a confirmation then such an utterance is called here a decidable symbolic expression of the ordinary language L. In this case one can classify such an expression  as being true. Otherwise the expression  is classified as being not true.

The case of being not true is not a simple case. Being not true can mean: (i) it is actually simply not given; (ii) it is conceivable that the meaning could become true if the external situation would be  different; (iii) it is — in the light of the accessible knowledge — not conceivable that the meaning could become true in any situation; (iv) the meaning is to fuzzy to decided which case (i) – (iii) fits.

Cognitive Abstraction Processes

Before we talk about (Undecidable) Universal Expressions [(U)UE] it has to clarified that the internal mappings in a human actor are not only non-1-to-1 mappings but they are additionally automatic transformation processes of the kind that concrete perceptions of concrete environmental matters are automatically transformed by the brain into different kinds of states which are abstracted states using the concrete incoming signals as a  trigger either to start a new abstracted state or to modify an existing abstracted state. Given such abstracted states there exist a multitude of other neural processes to process these abstracted states further embedded  in numerous  different relationships.

Thus the assumed internal language Lint does not map the neural processes  which are processing the concrete events as such but the processed abstracted states! Language expressions as such can never be related directly to concrete material because this concrete material  has no direct  neural basis.  What works — completely unconsciously — is that the brain can detect that an actual neural pattern nn has some similarity with a  given abstracted structure NN  and that then this concrete pattern nn  is internally classified as an instance of NN. That means we can recognize that a perceived concrete matter nn is in ‘the light of’ our available (unconscious) knowledge an NN, but we cannot argue explicitly why. The decision has been processed automatically (unconsciously), but we can become aware of the result of this unconscious process.

Universal (Undecidable) Expressions [U(U)E]

Let us repeat the expression ‘There is a white wooden table‘ which has been used before as an example of a concrete decidable expression.

If one looks to the different parts of this expression then the partial expressions ‘white’, ‘wooden’, ‘table’ can be mapped by a learned meaning function φ into abstracted structures which are the result of internal processing. This means there can be countable infinite many concrete instances in the external environment ENV which can be understood as being white. The same holds for the expressions ‘wooden’ and ‘table’. Thus the expressions ‘white’, ‘wooden’, ‘table’ are all related to abstracted structures and therefor they have to be classified as universal expressions which as such are — strictly speaking —  not decidable because they can be true in many concrete situations with different concrete matters. Or take it otherwise: an expression with a meaning function φ pointing to an abstracted structure is asymmetric: one expression can be related to many different perceivable concrete matters but certain members of  a set of different perceived concrete matters can be related to one and the same abstracted structure on account of similarities based on properties embedded in the perceived concrete matter and being part of the abstracted structure.

In a cognitive point of view one can describe these matters such that the expression — like ‘table’ — which is pointing to a cognitive  abstracted structure ‘T’ includes a set of properties Π and every concrete perceived structure ‘t’ (caused e.g. by some concrete matter in our environment which we would classify as a ‘table’) must have a ‘certain amount’ of properties Π* that one can say that the properties  Π* are entailed in the set of properties Π of the abstracted structure T, thus Π* ⊆ Π. In what circumstances some speaker-hearer will say that something perceived concrete ‘is’ a table or ‘is not’ a table will depend from the learning history of this speaker-hearer. A child in the beginning of learning a language L can perhaps call something   a ‘chair’ and the parents will correct the child and will perhaps  say ‘no, this is table’.

Thus the expression ‘There is a white wooden table‘ as such is not true or false because it is not clear which set of concrete perceptions shall be derived from the possible internal meaning mappings, but if a concrete situation S is given with a concrete object with concrete properties then a speaker can ‘translate’ his/ her concrete perceptions with his learned meaning function φ into a composed expression using universal expressions.  In such a situation where the speaker is  part of  the real situation S he/ she  can recognize that the given situation is an  instance of the abstracted structures encoded in the used expression. And recognizing this being an instance interprets the universal expression in a way  that makes the universal expression fitting to a real given situation. And thereby the universal expression is transformed by interpretation with φ into a concrete decidable expression.

SUMMING UP

Thus the decisive moment of turning undecidable universal expressions U(U)E into decidable concrete expressions (D)CE is a human actor A behaving as a speaker-hearer of the used  language L. Without a speaker-hearer every universal expressions is undefined and neither true nor false.

makedecidable :  S x Ahum x E —> E x {true, false}

This reads as follows: If you want to know whether an expression E is concrete and as being concrete is  ‘true’ or ‘false’ then ask  a human actor Ahum which is part of a concrete situation S and the human actor shall  answer whether the expression E can be interpreted such that E can be classified being either ‘true’ or ‘false’.

The function ‘makedecidable()’ is therefore  the description (like a ‘recipe’) of a real process in the real world with real actors. The important factors in this description are the meaning functions inside the participating human actors. Although it is not possible to describe these meaning functions directly one can check their behavior and one can define an abstract model which describes the observable behavior of speaker-hearer of the language L. This is an empirical model and represents the typical case of behavioral models used in psychology, biology, sociology etc.

SOURCES

[1] Jakob Johann Freiherr von Uexküll (German: [ˈʏkskʏl])(1864 – 1944) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_Johann_von_Uexk%C3%BCll

[2] Jakob von Uexküll, 1909, Umwelt und Innenwelt der Tiere. Berlin: J. Springer. (Download: https://ia802708.us.archive.org/13/items/umweltundinnenwe00uexk/umweltundinnenwe00uexk.pdf )

[3] Wikipedia EN, Speech acts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_act

[4] Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( 1889 – 1951): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Wittgenstein

[5] Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1953: Philosophische Untersuchungen [PU], 1953: Philosophical Investigations [PI], translated by G. E. M. Anscombe /* For more details see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_Investigations */

Extended Concept for Meaning Based Inferences. Version 1

ISSN 2567-6458, 30.August 2020
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

As described in the uffmm eJournal  the wider context of this software project is a generative theory of cultural anthropology [GCA] which is an extension of the engineering theory called Distributed Actor-Actor Interaction [DAAI]. In  the section Case Studies of the uffmm eJournal there is also a section about Python co-learning – mainly
dealing with python programming – and a section about a web-server with
Dragon. This document will be part of the Case Studies section.

PDF DOCUMENT

TruthTheoryExtended-v1

The Simulator as a Learning Artificial Actor [LAA]. Version 1

ISSN 2567-6458, 23.August 2020
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

As described in the uffmm eJournal  the wider context of this software project is a generative theory of cultural anthropology [GCA] which is an extension of the engineering theory called Distributed Actor-Actor Interaction [DAAI]. In  the section Case Studies of the uffmm eJournal there is also a section about Python co-learning – mainly
dealing with python programming – and a section about a web-server with
Dragon. This document will be part of the Case Studies section.

Abstract

The analysis of the main application scenario revealed that classical
logical inference concepts are insufficient for the assistance of human ac-
tors during shared planning. It turned out that the simulator has to be
understood as a real learning artificial actor which has to gain the required
knowledge during the process.

PDF DOCUMENT

LearningArtificialActor-v1 (last change: Aug 23, 2020)

THE BIG PICTURE: HCI – HMI – AAI in History – Engineering – Society – Philosophy

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 20.April 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

A first draft version …

CONTEXT

The context for this text is the whole block dedicated to the AAI (Actor-Actor Interaction)  paradigm. The aim of this text is to give the big picture of all dimensions and components of this subject as it shows up during April 2019.

The first dimension introduced is the historical dimension, because this allows a first orientation in the course of events which lead  to the actual situation. It starts with the early days of real computers in the thirties and forties of the 20 century.

The second dimension is the engineering dimension which describes the special view within which we are looking onto the overall topic of interactions between human persons and computers (or machines or technology or society). We are interested how to transform a given problem into a valuable solution in a methodological sound way called engineering.

The third dimension is the whole of society because engineering happens always as some process within a society.  Society provides the resources which can be used and spends the preferences (values) what is understood as ‘valuable’, as ‘good’.

The fourth dimension is Philosophy as that kind of thinking which takes everything into account which can be thought and within thinking Philosophy clarifies conditions of thinking, possible tools of thinking and has to clarify when some symbolic expression becomes true.

HISTORY

In history we are looking back in the course of events. And this looking back is in a first step guided by the  concepts of HCI (Human-Computer Interface) and  HMI (Human-Machine Interaction).

It is an interesting phenomenon how the original focus of the interface between human persons and the early computers shifted to  the more general picture of interaction because the computer as machine developed rapidly on account of the rapid development of the enabling hardware (HW)  the enabling software (SW).

Within the general framework of hardware and software the so-called artificial intelligence (AI) developed first as a sub-topic on its own. Since the last 10 – 20 years it became in a way productive that it now  seems to become a normal part of every kind of software. Software and smart software seem to be   interchangeable. Thus the  new wording of augmented or collective intelligence is emerging intending to bridge the possible gap between humans with their human intelligence and machine intelligence. There is some motivation from the side of society not to allow the impression that the smart (intelligent) machines will replace some day the humans. Instead one is propagating the vision of a new collective shape of intelligence where human and machine intelligence allows a symbiosis where each side gives hist best and receives a maximum in a win-win situation.

What is revealing about the actual situation is the fact that the mainstream is always talking about intelligence but not seriously about learning! Intelligence is by its roots a static concept representing some capabilities at a certain point of time, while learning is the more general dynamic concept that a system can change its behavior depending from actual external stimuli as well as internal states. And such a change includes real changes of some of its internal states. Intelligence does not communicate this dynamics! The most demanding aspect of learning is the need for preferences. Without preferences learning is impossible. Today machine learning is a very weak example of learning because the question of preferences is not a real topic there. One assumes that some reward is available, but one does not really investigate this topic. The rare research trying to do this job is stating that there is not the faintest idea around how a general continuous learning could happen. Human society is of no help for this problem while human societies have a clash of many, often opposite, values, and they have no commonly accepted view how to improve this situation.

ENGINEERING

Engineering is the art and the science to transform a given problem into a valuable and working solution. What is valuable decides the surrounding enabling society and this judgment can change during the course of time.  Whether some solution is judged to be working can change during the course of time too but the criteria used for this judgment are more stable because of their adherence to concrete capabilities of technical solutions.

While engineering was and is  always  a kind of an art and needs such aspects like creativity, innovation, intuition etc. it is also and as far as possible a procedure driven by defined methods how to do things, and these methods are as far as possible backed up by scientific theories. The real engineer therefore synthesizes art, technology and science in a unique way which can not completely be learned in the schools.

In the past as well as in the present engineering has to happen in teams of many, often many thousands or even more, people which coordinate their brains by communication which enables in the individual brains some kind of understanding, of emerging world pictures,  which in turn guide the perception, the decisions, and the concrete behavior of everybody. And these cognitive processes are embedded — in every individual team member — in mixtures of desires, emotions, as well as motivations, which can support the cognitive processes or obstruct them. Therefore an optimal result can only be reached if the communication serves all necessary cognitive processes and the interactions between the team members enable the necessary constructive desires, emotions, and motivations.

If an engineering process is done by a small group of dedicated experts  — usually triggered by the given problem of an individual stakeholder — this can work well for many situations. It has the flavor of a so-called top-down approach. If the engineering deals with states of affairs where different kinds of people, citizens of some town etc. are affected by the results of such a process, the restriction to  a small group of experts  can become highly counterproductive. In those cases of a widespread interest it seems promising to include representatives of all the involved persons into the executing team to recognize their experiences and their kinds of preferences. This has to be done in a way which is understandable and appreciative, showing esteem for the others. This manner of extending the team of usual experts by situative experts can be termed bottom-up approach. In this usage of the term bottom-up this is not the opposite to top-down but  is reflecting the extend in which members of a society are included insofar they are affected by the results of a process.

SOCIETY

Societies in the past and the present occur in a great variety of value systems, organizational structures, systems of power etc.  Engineering processes within a society  are depending completely on the available resources of a society and of its value systems.

The population dynamics, the needs and wishes of the people, the real territories, the climate, housing, traffic, and many different things are constantly producing demands to be solved if life shall be able and continue during the course of time.

The self-understanding and the self-management of societies is crucial for their ability to used engineering to improve life. This deserves communication and education to a sufficient extend, appropriate public rules of management, otherwise the necessary understanding and the freedom to act is lacking to use engineering  in the right way.

PHILOSOPHY

Without communication no common constructive process can happen. Communication happens according to many  implicit rules compressed in the formula who when can speak how about what with whom etc. Communication enables cognitive processes of for instance  understanding, explanations, lines of arguments.  Especially important for survival is the ability to make true descriptions and the ability to decide whether a statement is true or not. Without this basic ability communication will break down, coordination will break down, life will break down.

The basic discipline to clarify the rules and conditions of true communication, of cognition in general, is called Philosophy. All the more modern empirical disciplines are specializations of the general scope of Philosophy and it is Philosophy which integrates all the special disciplines in one, coherent framework (this is the ideal; actually we are far from this ideal).

Thus to describe the process of engineering driven by different kinds of actors which are coordinating themselves by communication is primarily the task of philosophy with all their sub-disciplines.

Thus some of the topics of Philosophy are language, text, theory, verification of a  theory, functions within theories as algorithms, computation in general, inferences of true statements from given theories, and the like.

In this text I apply Philosophy as far as necessary. Especially I am introducing a new process model extending the classical systems engineering approach by including the driving actors explicitly in the formal representation of the process. Learning machines are included as standard tools to improve human thinking and communication. You can name this Augmented Social Learning Systems (ASLS). Compared to the wording Augmented Intelligence (AI) (as used for instance by the IBM marketing) the ASLS concept stresses that the primary point of reference are the biological systems which created and create machine intelligence as a new tool to enhance biological intelligence as part of biological learning systems. Compared to the wording Collective Intelligence (CI) (as propagated by the MIT, especially by Thomas W.Malone and colleagues) the spirit of the CI concept seems to be   similar, but perhaps only a weak similarity.

AAI-THEORY V2 – BLUEPRINT: Bottom-up

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 27.February 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Last change: 28.February 2019 (Several corrections)

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory version 2 you can find here. In this post we talk about the special topic how to proceed in a bottom-up approach.

BOTTOM-UP: THE GENERAL BLUEPRINT
Outine of the process how to generate an AS
Figure 1: Outline of the process how to generate an AS with a bottom-up approach

As the introductory figure shows it is assumed here that there is a collection of citizens and experts which offer their individual knowledge, experiences, and skills to ‘put them on the table’ challenged by a given problem P.

This knowledge is in the beginning not structured. The first step in the direction of an actor story (AS) is to analyze the different contributions in a way which shows distinguishable elements with properties and relations. Such a set of first ‘objects’ and ‘relations’ characterizes a set of facts which define a ‘situation’ or a ‘state’ as a collection of ‘facts’. Such a situation/ state can also be understood as a first simple ‘model‘ as response to a given problem. A model is as such ‘static‘; it describes what ‘is’ at a certain point of ‘time’.

In a next step the group has to identify possible ‘changes‘ which can be associated with at least one fact. There can be many possible changes which eventually  need different durations to come into effect. These effects can happen  as ‘exclusive alternatives’ or in ‘parallel’. Apply the possible changes to a  situation  generates   ‘successors’ to the actual situation. A sequence of situations generated by applied changes is  usually called a ‘simulation‘.

If one allows the interaction between real actors with a simulation by associating  a real actor to one of the actors ‘inside the simulation’ one is turning the simulation into an ‘interactive simulation‘ which represents basically a ‘computer game‘ (short: ‘egame‘).

One can use interactive simulations e.g. to (i) learn about the dynamics of a model, to (ii) test the assumptions of a model, to (iii) test the knowledge and skills of the real actors.

Making new experiences with a  simulation allows a continuous improvement of the model and its change rules.

Additionally one can include more citizens and experts into this process and one can use available knowledge from databases and libraries.

EPISTEMOLOGY OF CONCEPTS
Epistemology of concepts used in an AAI Analysis rprocess
Fig.2: Epistemology of concepts used in an AAI Analysis process

As outlined in the preceding section about the blueprint of a bottom-up process there will be a heavy   usage of concepts to describe state of affairs.

The literature about this topic in philosophy as well as many scientific disciplines is overwhelmingly and therefore this small text here can only be a ‘pointer’ into a complex topic. Nevertheless I will use exactly this pointer to explore this topic further.

While the literature is mainly dealing with  more or less specific partial models, I am trying here to point out a very general framework which fits to a more genera philosophical — especially epistemological — view as well as gives respect to many results of scientific disciplines.

The main dimensions here are (i) the outside external empirical world, which connects via sensors to the (ii) internal body, especially the brain,  which works largely ‘unconscious‘, and then (iii) the ‘conscious‘ part of he brain.

The most important relationship between the ‘conscious’ and the ‘unconscious’ part of the brain is the ability of the unconscious brain to transform automatically incoming concrete sens-experiences into more   ‘abstract’ structures, which have at least three sub-dimensions: (i) different concrete material, (ii) a sub-set of extracted common properties, (iii) different sets of occurring contexts associated with the different subsets. This enables the brain to extract only a ‘few’ abstract structures (= abstract concepts)  to deal with ‘many’  concrete events. Thus the abstract concept ‘chair’ can cover many different concrete chairs which have only a few properties in common. Additionally the chairs can occur in different ‘contexts’ associating them with different ‘relations’ which can  specify  possible different ‘usages’   of  the concept ‘chair’.

Thus, if the actor perceives something which ‘matches’ some ‘known’ concept then the actor is  not only conscious about the empirical concrete phenomenon but also simultaneously about the abstract concept which will automatically be activated. ‘Immediately’ the actor ‘knows’ that this empirical something is e.g. a ‘chair’. Concrete: this concrete something is matching an abstract concept ‘chair’ which can as such cover many other concrete things too which can be as concrete somethings partially different from another concrete something.

From this follows an interesting side effect: while an actor can easily decide, whether a concrete something is there  (“it is the case, that” = “it is true”) or not (“it is not the case, that” = “it isnot true” = “it is false”), an actor can not directly decide whether an abstract concept like ‘chair’ as such is ‘true’ in the sense, that the concept ‘as a whole’ corresponds to concrete empirical occurrences. This depends from the fact that an abstract concept like ‘chair’ can match with a  nearly infinite set of possible concrete somethings which are called ‘possible instances’ of the abstract concept. But a human actor can directly   ‘check’ only a ‘few’ concrete somethings. Therefore the usage of abstract concepts like ‘chair’, ‘house’, ‘bottle’ etc. implies  inherently an ‘open set’ of ‘possible’ concrete  exemplars and therefor is the usage of such concepts necessarily a ‘hypothetical’ usage.  Because we can ‘in principle’ check the real extensions of these abstract concepts   in everyday life as long there is the ‘freedom’ to do  such checks,  we are losing the ‘truth’ of our concepts and thereby the basis for a  realistic cooperation, if this ‘freedom of checking’ is not possible.

If some incoming perception is ‘not yet known’,  because nothing given in the unconsciousness does ‘match’,  it is in a basic sens ‘new’ and the brain will automatically generate a ‘new concept’.

THE DIMENSION OF MEANING

In Figure 2 one can find two other components: the ‘meaning relation’ which maps concepts into ‘language expression’.

Language expressions inside the brain correspond to a diversity of visual, auditory, tactile or other empirical event sequences, which are in use for communicative acts.

These language expressions are usually not ‘isolated structures’ but are embedded in relations which map the expression structures to conceptual structures including  the different substantiations of the abstract concepts and the associated contexts. By these relations the expressions are attached to the conceptual structures which are called the ‘meaning‘ of the expressions and vice versa the expressions are called the ‘language articulation’ of the meaning structures.

As far as conceptual structures are related via meaning relations to language expressions then  a perception can automatically cause the ‘activation’ of the associated language expressions, which in turn can be uttered in some way. But conceptual structures   can exist  (especially with children) without an available  meaning relation.

When language expressions are used within a communicative act then  their usage can activate in all participants of the communication the ‘learned’ concepts as their intended meanings. Heaving the meaning activated in someones ‘consciousness’ this is a real phenomenon for that actor. But from the occurrence of  concepts alone does not automatically follow, that a  concept is ‘backed up’ by some ‘real matter’ in the external world. Someone can utter that it is raining, in the hearer of this utterance the intended concepts can become activated, but in the outside external world no rain is happening. In this case one has to state that the utterance of the language expressions “Look, its raining” has no counterpart in the real world, therefore we call the utterance in this case ‘false‘ or  ‘not true‘.

THE DIMENSION OF TIME
The dimension of time based on past experience and combinatoric thinking
Fig.3: The dimension of time based on past experience and combinatoric thinking

The preceding figure 2 of the conceptual space is not yet complete. There is another important dimension based on the ability of the unconscious brain to ‘store’ certain structures in a ‘timely order’ which enables an actor — under certain conditions ! — to decide whether a certain structure X occurred in the consciousness ‘before’ or ‘after’ or ‘at the same time’ as another structure Y.

Evidently the unconscious brain is able do exactly this:  (i) it can arrange the different structures under certain conditions in a ‘timely order’;  (ii)  it can detect ‘differences‘ between timely succeeding structures;  the brain (iii) can conceptualize these changes as ‘change concepts‘ (‘rules of change’), and it can  can classify different kinds of change like ‘deterministic’, ‘non-deterministic’ with different kinds of probabilities, as well as ‘arbitrary’ as in the case of ‘free learning systems‘. Free learning systems are able to behave in a ‘deterministic-like manner’, but they can also change their patterns on account of internal learning and decision processes in nearly any direction.

Based on memories of conceptual structures and derived change concepts (rules of change) the unconscious brain is able to generate different kinds of ‘possible configurations’, whose quality is  depending from the degree of dependencies within the  ‘generating  criteria’: (i) no special restrictions; (ii) empirical restrictions; (iii) empirical restrictions for ‘upcoming states’ (if all drinkable water would be consumed, then one cannot plan any further with drinkable water).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AAI THEORY V2 – Actor Story (AS)

eJournal: uffmm.org,
ISSN 2567-6458, 28.Januar 2019
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

— Outdated —

CONTEXT

An overview to the enhanced AAI theory  version 2 you can find here.  In this post we talk about  the generation of the actor story (AS).

ACTOR STORY

To get from the problem P to an improved configuration S measured by some expectation  E needs a process characterized by a set of necessary states Q which are connected by necessary changes X. Such a process can be described with the aid of  an actor story AS.

  1. The target of an actor story (AS) is a full specification of all identified necessary tasks T which lead from a start state q* to a goal state q+, including all possible and necessary changes X between the different states M.
  2. A state is here considered as a finite set of facts (F) which are structured as an expression from some language L distinguishing names of objects (like  ‘D1’, ‘Un1’, …) as well as properties of objects (like ‘being open’, ‘being green’, …) or relations between objects (like ‘the user stands before the door’). There can also e a ‘negation’ like ‘the door is not open’. Thus a collection of facts like ‘There is a door D1’ and ‘The door D1 is open’ can represent a state.
  3. Changes from one state q to another successor state q’ are described by the object whose action deletes previous facts or creates new facts.
  4. In this approach at least three different modes of an actor story will be distinguished:
    1. A textual mode generating a Textual Actor Story (TAS): In a textual mode a text in some everyday language (e.g. in English) describes the states and changes in plain English. Because in the case of a written text the meaning of the symbols is hidden in the heads of the writers it can be of help to parallelize the written text with the pictorial mode.
    2. A pictorial mode generating a Pictorial Actor Story (PAS). In a pictorial mode the drawings represent the main objects with their properties and relations in an explicit visual way (like a Comic Strip). The drawings can be enhanced by fragments of texts.
    3. A mathematical mode generating a Mathematical Actor Story (MAS): this can be done either (i) by  a pictorial graph with nodes and edges as arrows associated with formal expressions or (ii)  by a complete formal structure without any pictorial elements.
    4. For every mode it has to be shown how an AAI expert can generate an actor story out of the virtual cognitive world of his brain and how it is possible to decide the empirical soundness of the actor story.