Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rebel Speech Update, October 31, 2012

Bear with Me

Sorry for the long pause since my last post. I'm rather busy lately pursuing another promising therapy for my wife who suffers from the fatal disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What makes it worse is that I'm also busy putting out numerous fires that, lately, seem to jump at me from every direction. So please bear with me. I would not want my readers to think that I abandoned my research or anything of the sort. That will not happen. I just need some time to silence a few persistent skirmishes in my life and I'll get back on the road again, just as determined as before. There is a lot that remains to be done.

Science Versus Faith

Recently, I came across the work of Karl Friston, a well-known professor of Neuroscience at University College London. Friston seems to be a proud Darwinist who has absolute faith in the veracity of the Bayesian Brain hypothesis. He is so sure of his convictions that he came up with a free energy principle for the brain. He claims that the brain uses a Darwinian learning process based on Bayesian statistics. What does Friston mean by a Darwinian process, I hear you ask? He means that a brain contains multiple competing models of reality and that the one that is best supported by sensory evidence is chosen as the basis for action, a kind of survival of the fittest. Of course, Friston would be hard pressed to explain why competition necessarily involves a Darwinian process. The last I heard, models in the brain do not breed, procreate and undergo random mutations.

Just leave it to a Darwinist to equivocate in order to buttress a weak hypothesis. In my opinion, Friston is using his supposedly superior knowledge of the brain to preach his religion, Darwinism. He is placing his faith before science while pretending to pledge strict allegiance to the scientific method. In a way, I am not faulting Friston for being true to his faith. Heck, I do the same thing. I believe that science must corroborate one's faith and not vice versa. But unlike Friston, not only do I not believe in hiding behind false pretenses, I also don't believe one should try to force fit the evidence into one's world view. Furthermore, I refuse to kiss the collective ass of the scientific community by playing lip service to the religion of Darwinism. From my vantage point, I think they are the ones who should be kissing my ass. LOL.

The Two Trees

Friston may have his cockamamie dirt-worshiping religion to keep him busy but I believe I got the real McCoy, so to speak. In the previous article, I explained why the Bayesian model of perception is a red herring and I described what I claimed to be a superior model. Like Friston, I did not hesitate to mix my religion with my science. What I think is a little unnerving is that the Bayesian model of perception is close enough to the real McCoy that I will not be surprised if, one day, the scientific community claims to have known the secret of AI all along. This is the reason I have been a little leery about revealing the full McCoy. I don't think that now is the time for me to put all my cards on the table.

Moving right along, there is no doubt that there is a constant competition going on in the brain. People have known about this for centuries if not millenia. Calling it a Darwinian process is just dumb. And there is no doubt that the brain is constantly building and updating its model of the world. Do we need Friston or anybody else to teach us these simple truths? I don't think so. Where Friston and the others are wrong is in their assumption that the brain uses a probabilistic model which is constantly being updated with the arrival of new sensory data. The truth, which will be boldly demonstrated in the not too distant future, happens to be the exact opposite. The brain actually builds as perfect and deterministic a model of the world as it can ascertain. How do I know this? I know because, like Friston, I have faith in my religion. And my religion tells me that this is the way it is.

Unlike Friston, however, I constantly change my assumptions about my faith and my interpretation of its teachings to accommodate new evidence. For example, I used to believe that Zechariah's two olive trees were metaphors that stood for the left and right memory hierarchies of the brain's hemispheres. Not long ago, however, I changed my mind and I did it for two reasons. First, a careful study of the metaphors in both Zechariah and Revelation convinced me that I was mistaken. Second, my experiments with Rebel Speech had reached a brick wall. Eventually, it became clear to me that each hemisphere of the brain has two distinct hierarchies, one for patterns and one for sequences. I discovered that the latter has up to 20 levels while the former has 10. I believe that this is a precise prediction about the brain that can be tested with current tools.

But that is not all. I further realized that an intelligent system must have frequent sleep/dream periods during which scenarios are played back while bad information is purged from memory. Otherwise, the internal model would quickly become overwhelmed with corrupt information. This, too, is what my faith tells me. I'll have more to say about sleep and memory cleaning in a future article.

Rebel Speech

I haven't had much time to work on the Rebel Speech demo. As soon as I get enough free time, however, it won't take me too long to get to the point where I can release the first version. Hang in there.

See Also:

The Second Great AI Red Herring Chase
The Myth of the Bayesian Brain