Sunday, March 6, 2011

Intelligent Computer Chess, Part IV



In Part III, I wrote that the first layer in Animal's neural network, the retina, detects contextual movements in its visual field. In this post, I present a brief introduction to the main neural structure of Animal's brain, the tree of knowledge or TOK for short. But first, I want to say a few words about how I came to my current understanding of intelligence and the brain. Some of you will not like what I am about to say but this is precisely why I want to say it.

Brick Wall

The ideas behind Animal's brain architecture did not spring out of thin air. I've been trying to understand intelligence for at least thirty years. Although I made some encouraging progress in the beginning, my research soon hit a brick wall. Early on, I concluded that intelligence was, at its core, a temporal phenomenon and that the symbol manipulation approach to AI used by the baby boomers in the last century was a complete waste of brains, time and money. I figured out that an intelligent system's ability to make predictions (i.e., to anticipate the future) was essential to goal-seeking behavior and that, somewhere in the system, there had to be a motivational mechanism that selected actions based on potential outcomes. In sum, I had a number of powerful insights but I could not get them to coalesce into a coherent whole. In other words, I could not formulate an effective theory of intelligence. I was stuck.

A Funny Thing Happened in 2002

My research more or less stagnated until the end of the year 2002. That's when I made an amazing discovery that completely changed the nature of my work. One evening, while reading the Christian occult book (aka the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse), I was struck by an uncanny resemblance between some of my ideas on intelligence and a handful of metaphorical passages collectively known as the Message to the Seven Churches of Asia. It was like a bolt of lightning. I became instantly convinced that the book of Revelation was not at all what Christians and others profess it to be. There was no doubt in my mind that it was a book of amazing scientific secrets coded in clever metaphors. Soon afterwards, my research led me to examine another ancient occult text, an old testament book written by the prophet Zechariah around 518 BC, more than 600 years before Revelation. Zechariah's text turned out to be a treasure trove of hidden knowledge about the brain. Here are a few metaphors and my interpretations:
  • The Temple
    This is a metaphor for memory.
  • The Stone with Seven Eyes
    Symbolizes the fundamental building block of memory.
  • The Menorah (Seven Branch Lampstand) or Seven Eyes of God
    This represents the seven-item capacity of short-term memory.
  • The Two Olive Trees
    This is the tree-like memory structures of the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
One of my findings squarely contradicts mainstream neuroscience literature. Currently, neuroscientists believe that the cerebellum contributes to language and speech processing. However, my interpretation of the messages to the Church of Pergamum and the Church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation forced me to conclude that the mainstream view is incorrect. It is true that people with cerebellar lesions tend to speak haltingly but it's only because they must stop periodically to consciously handle routine functions (e.g., balance and posture) that are normally the responsibility of the cerebellum. Over the last several years, my understanding of the brain and intelligence has increased a thousand fold and I attribute my progress entirely to my study of the ancient Biblical texts. Read Artificial Intelligence From the Bible to learn about my early research in this area.

Yes, I Am a Christian

So yes, I am a Christian. And no, I am not a fire and brimstone fundamentalist, nor am I a young earth creationist. As some of you already know, unlike most Christians, I believe in really weird Christian shit. For example, I believe that the most revolutionary scientific advances in the history of humanity will happen in this century and will come straight out of the Bible. And by revolutionary advances, I am talking about all the "crackpot" stuff that mainstream science looks down on such as free energy, levitation, extremely fast travel, artificial intelligence, the secret of eternal youth, etc.

All my scientific research, especially in physics and AI, is inextricably tied to my being a Christian. I know, this is enough to cause every atheist on the planet (and even many among those who call themselves Christians) to have an apoplectic fit but, in the end, it's all about what you believe in, i.e., your religion. This is true even if your are convinced that you don't have one. Again, let me reiterate that, if you don't like the fact that I am a Christian or if you have a problem with my brand of Christianity or my Biblical research, then my blog is not for you. I only write for kindred spirits, sorry.

And above all, please do not write to let me know that you think I'm a crackpot or a nut because I don't care.

The Two Brains (Two Olive Trees)

In contrast to the human brain which has two hemispheres and thus two trees of knowledge (the two olive trees), Animal's brain is monospherical. The main reason for this is that I am not entirely sure how to connect two hemispheres together. I know from my research (the ancient texts are adamant in this regard) that the brain is complementary in nature and that the right hemisphere has master control over the left hemisphere but I have not yet figured out how to implement this master/slave duality in an artificial brain. At this point I have reasons to suspect that a bispherical, master/slave brain is not needed unless it resides in a body with bi-lateral sensors and effectors. This is not the case with Animal.

The Tree of Knowledge

The TOK is a multi-functional hierarchical neural network that receives its input signals directly from the signal separation layer (see Part III). Its primary purpose is to serve as a repository of temporal knowledge. However, it is also the source of all motor signals (more on this in a future post). Note that, in a real brain, motor signals are also generated by the cerebellum. If I were designing the brain of a complex bipedal robot, I would certainly include a cerebellum since it is needed for routine supporting functions such as maintaining posture and balance. Animal does not have a cerebellum because it is not needed.

The bottom or fundamental level (level 0) of the inverted tree of knowledge is the input layer proper. This is where signals arriving from the separation layer enter the network. Note that the arrows in the figure above do not represent signal directions. They only serve to depict the hierarchical control mechanism of the tree. Every memory unit (red circle) at every level, except level 0, controls a group of up to seven other units residing at a lower level. A group is a sequence of events. Groups are the fundamental building blocks of Animal's knowledge structure.

Coming Up

In Part V, I will describe how the organization of the TOK explains things like anticipation, recognition, attention and what psychologists call long-term and short-term memory.

See Also:

The Brain: Universal Invariant Recognition
Artificial Intelligence From the Bible

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