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  • Mike Beedle
    http://www.eet.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=18902790 After reflecting the better part of the day on this article, I have some comments and conclusions about
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 24, 2004
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      After reflecting the better part of the day on
      this article, I have some comments and conclusions about
      the research exposed in it.

      1. Self-Organizing equivalents of "regular" Computing

      If LSMs, which rely on self-organizing networks
      are equivalent to UTM (Universal Turing Machine),
      this could be one of the _most_ significant discoveries
      of Computer Science and/or Cognitive Science in History.

      This basically means we have a "self-organizing neural model"
      that is computationally equivalent to a "regular computer".

      We already know about some equivalences and relationships
      among UTMs, FSMs (finite state machines), programming languages
      i.e. prescriptive/descriptive (systems of descriptions like rules),
      calculi, and evaluators (LISP is equivalent to a UTM) ...
      but we never had a "self-organizing" equivalent
      (as far as I know).

      2. Swarm Intelligence and Emergence

      Until now, we can model and understand things that
      "emerge" through simple "rules of interaction".
      Models, simulations and mathematical treatments abound.

      Yet, everyone is mesmerized by the concept of
      "emergent swarm intelligence", but until now, this concept,
      as far as I know, has not been explained in terms of
      computational models or even in terms of "equivalent models".
      (Please experts out there... correct me if I am
      ignoring important research "out there".)

      Might the LSM model also explain some aspects
      of the so-called "Swarm intelligence" and to some degree
      the conditions for "punctuated equilibrium" or
      "stable emergent states" i.e. why self-organized
      "swarms of things" that obey simple rules are seemingly
      "intelligent wholes" like anthills, beehives, or brains?

      3. LSM and Theories of Life and/or Intelligence

      It is eerie to think of these "controlled positive
      feedback loops", and not think about the relationship(s) they
      may have with the "autocatalytic chains" described by
      Kauffman's "life model" -- the similarity and/or consistency
      is significant, it is the same model, basically: things
      "connected" by closing loops in "controlled feedback loops"....
      ah, but Kauffman makes no relationship with "intelligence" or
      "learning" in his revolutionary exposition... i.e. Life
      may be "smarter than we think" ;-) Could this have any
      relationships with the "coding" and "non-coding" sections
      of our DNA?.... where we store our knowledge. Is the
      DNA more like a configuration management system then,
      rather than a "single version" system? (Non-coding parts
      can be thought to be remnants of genetic material
      that previously "made sense" in the generation of
      proteins that previously participated in a "older versions"
      of self-organized auto-catalytic chains -- no longer
      in effect.)

      4. Us, Robots, and "many" Minds around

      If LSMs are truly a good "mind model", imagine this: robots
      and computers that are "computationally equivalent" to us.

      The concept of "downloading your mind" to a computer or a
      robot, or "transferring your mind" across the network --
      possibly to another continent (or planet?), now it is more
      possible, because before, we _did_ not have even a
      computationally equivalent model .... :-) LSM might not be
      the last word, but we seem to be getting closer in this
      iteration. (For you "cognitive experts" in the field out
      there, how significant is the LSM in you opinion? Is it
      really that "revolutionary"?)

      [WARNING: "mind field". Of course, being able to "transfer
      minds" or "execute minds" in truly "out of body" experiences,
      begs for answers to some interesting questions: what
      happens to You when you transfer your mind out of your body and
      "execute it" in a computationally equivalent "robot" or computer.
      Combining this with some of the new genetic engineering
      staff, will it be possible to "some day" download your
      mind to a "genetically engineered" or "accelerated Morphogenized
      body".... now that we have a "closer model" of "the mind"
      we are transferring (after all they can be simply seen
      as "untrained neural nets") At a practical level, you could
      make a "backup of your mind", just in case you
      "loose it" ;-) .... or you could go to sleep to give "rest to
      your mitochondrial-driven body, while a "backup of your mind"
      thinks all night or learns something new, and then you can
      transfer the thoughts and/or the learned material in the morning.
      Lastly, if we figure how the mind stores knowledge in this
      computational model, will we be able to buy or download
      "Open Source" "knowledge libraries" and upload them to our

      5. Intelligence Field Theory?

      Also, the "liquid surface" metaphor in LSMs is given to describe
      the interactions of "close neural neighbors" and the overall
      state of the machine is given or controlled by the
      superposition of eigenstates over the network.... so, basically
      LSMs are described by a "field theory" over a neural net
      that supports "controlled feedback loops".
      Might it be then possible to use "standard" field theory
      patterns and techniques for its understanding i.e. things like
      generative functionals, gauge fixes, conformal mapping,
      Wilson OPE (operator product expansions), Fadeev-Popov
      techniques, Polyakov-style integrals, ... multi-dimensional
      fields? (scalar, tensor, spinor, twistor, etc.)

      This seems possible ... and it would be certainly be convenient...
      a model of "intelligence" that closely resembles Nature in
      its most fundamental way. (From a personal perspective, this
      may expand the utility of some programs I am making for
      computing "general Lagrangian interactions" :-)

      6. Quantum Intelligence?

      Lastly, there is a strong parallel of LSMs with the
      newly explored, or rather newly accepted, "emergent space-time"
      physical theories that describe space-time as a collection
      of "interacting self-organized entities" i.e. Penrose, Finkelstein,
      Lloyd, Zizzi, Rovelli, Smolin, Zuzze, etc.; and how particles,
      (superposition of interacting fields on it) interact over
      this discrete self-organizing "matrix". (Again, from a personal
      perspective, this may expand the utility of some programs
      I am using for computing "general interacting self-organizing
      models of space-time". See the above link.

      [NOTE: A model of "controlled positive feedback" is also
      possible with the standard "(an)harmonic oscillator"
      field theory, but the similarity, or equivalence if
      proven that way, is more compelling by choosing the
      entities and their interactions to describe space-time.]

      What this means is that it might be possible for "anything"
      with this "controlled feedback state" to be intelligent
      -- or at least as intelligent as our "brains".

      If, for example, "elementary" space-time and field/wave/particle
      interactions are used to induce this state, we might end up
      with something, that for lack of a better term, we can call
      "Quantum Intelligence"... (This goes way beyond
      "Quantum Computing" which simply makes Nature a
      "network of massively parallel computers" working on
      entangled states.)

      So, for example, any system made of atoms, electrons, light,
      quarks, gluons, gravitons... that enters this "controlled
      feedback loop" field-state could be as "intelligent" as our

      7. Apologia

      Sorry I am dumping all this version of "the LSM
      edition of Saturday Night Live" on you..... but imo
      this "discovery" is significant. If you have a couple
      of minutes to reflect on this, I would very much like to
      hear your thoughts. I am specially interested in
      evaluating the true significance of LSMs, and in finding
      current parallel research directions.

      - Mike


      "In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet."

      -- Alice Abrams
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