Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees, Part II

Part I, II

Abstract

This is a continuation of my series on artificial intelligence and the Bible. I claim that I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) by interpreting certain metaphorical passages in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. In Part I, I interpreted verses 1 to 7 of the fourth chapter of the book of Zechariah. We learned that memory is organized hierarchically and consists of seven-item chunks. Each chunk, or building block, is either a sequence of patterns or a sequence of sequences. Below, I interpret the rest of chapter 4 to reveal the mechanisms of short-term memory and attention.

The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees

Previously I wrote that the two olive trees represent pattern and sequence memory hierarchies within a single hemisphere of the brain. I argued that a metaphor always pertains to a single hemisphere unless it is specifically associated with "the whole earth", meaning the whole brain. I should have added that the fact that the two olive trees are said to be on both sides of a single lampstand and its oil bowl, is also a good indication that we are dealing with a single brain hemisphere. To summarize, the entire brain's memory can be represented by two lampstands and four olive trees in total. I'll have more to say about this in the commentary below.
Zechariah 4: 1-14
1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps.
3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’says the Lord of hosts.
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
11 Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?”
12 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?”
13 Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
Commentary
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
These two verses seem to be saying that the same building principles are used throughout the structure from the bottom level up. I italicized the last sentence in verse 9 because it only makes sense if we assume it is coming from Zechariah and not from the "the word of the Lord." I think translators should at least use parentheses around that sentence to make the point.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
This is awkward. After going through the interlinear Hebrew text and other translations, I think a better translation would be as follows:
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
We have already seen in chapter 3 how the preposition 'for' was used repeatedly to link one idea to another. This is what is happening here. The first 'For' in verse 10 is linking to something that was said in verse 9:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it.
So what this is saying is that memory construction starts with 'small things'. But what does 'small things' mean? Well, we know from chapter 3 that every building block is a unique sequence with seven nodes. The only thing about a sequence that can be either small or big is the interval between two nodes. I think what this verse is telling us is that memory building (i.e., sequence learning) should start with small intervals. This is extremely important to sequence learning and I will get back to it later.
For they shall rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
To be continued...
(Ok. I'm having cold feet again. I apologize. The subject matter is getting into the heart of perceptual learning and memory organization. I need to think carefully before I reveal what I have discovered. I get paranoid about AI because there is no doubt in my mind that it will be an explosively and dangerously disruptive technology. It will be a historic Big Bang heard and felt around the world. I need a little time to think this through.)
See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Joshua the High Priest

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees, Part I

Part I, II

Abstract

This is a continuation of my series on artificial intelligence and the Bible. I claim that I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) by interpreting certain metaphorical passages in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. Previously, I argued that the ancient texts contradict modern statistical approaches to perceptual learning. Essentially, current perceptual learning models, such as the Bayesian Brain and Deep Learning Networks, assume that events in the world are inherently uncertain and that the job of an intelligent system is to discover the probabilities. But according to the ancient texts, the brain is not a probability thinker. Counterintuitively, the brain assumes that events in the world are perfectly consistent even though the sensory space is noisy and incomplete. Its job is to find the perfection that is in the world.

In this article, I show that, based on my interpretation of the metaphors, short-term memory has a seven-item capacity and can be grouped into chunks. Furthermore, both pattern and sequence memories are organized hierarchically like a tree, short-term memory being just an active branch of the sequence tree.

The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees

Chapter 4 of the book of Zechariah is a veritable goldmine of knowledge about what is probably the most important aspect of intelligence: the organization of long and short-term memory. In this light, is it a coincidence that the Hebrew name 'Zechariah' means 'Yahweh remembers'?
Zechariah 4: 1-14
1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps.
3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’says the Lord of hosts.
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
11 Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?”
12 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?”
13 Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”
Commentary
1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
2 And he said to me, “What do you see?”
Zechariah is having a vision but he is awakened within the vision by the same angel who was talking to him earlier. The return of the angel tells us that the subject matter is the same as before. But the fact that Zechariah is awakened by the angel is significant. I interpret it to mean that what comes afterward has something to do with paying attention. We can only pay attention to one thing at a time. We pay attention to something by "waking up" its representation in memory. And while we are focusing on something, everything else is asleep.
2 [...] So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps [...]
This is as powerful as it gets. The fact that the lampstand is of solid gold means that it represents something very important, something crucial. Lamps are artifacts that can be turned on or off. They can emit light and thus make it easy to see in the dark. The lampstand has a bowl, i.e., an oil reservoir that supplies oil to the seven lamps. So we can surmise that the lampstand will stay lit until the bowl runs out of oil.

In verse 10, we learn that the seven lamps represent the seven eyes of God that move about in memory. In my opinion, the lampstand is the main mechanism of conscious attention and short-term memory. Over the years, psychologists have determined that short-term memory has a seven-item capacity. This seems to be in accord with the Biblical revelation. I will get back to this later.
2 [...] with seven pipes to the seven lamps.
This is almost certainly a mistranslation. Other translators have it as 'forty-nine pipes' or 'seven pipes to each of the seven lamps.' The original Hebrew text literally says 'seven seven pipes to the seven lamps.' So it seems that the number or pipes is forty-nine, not seven. Here is an illustration.
That is one strange looking lampstand, isn't it? Given that a lamp needs only one pipe for oil, the seven pipes attached to each lamp must have a special meaning. I interpret the lampstand metaphor to also mean that memory is organized hierarchically and consists of seven-node sequences, As we saw in the previous article, these are the building blocks of memory. Each node in a sequence consists of seven lower level nodes (think of an upside-down tree) and so on. At the bottom level, the nodes are pattern detectors which get their inputs directly from the sensors.
3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
A tree symbolizes a hierarchical structure. But why two trees? For a long time, I had assumed that the two olive trees represented the two memory hierarchies of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Although it seemed plausible at the time, it caused me to be stuck in a rut for years. It finally occurred to me that the Biblical metaphors used to describe the organization of the brain always pertain to one hemisphere unless the text specifically associates a metaphor with 'the whole earth' as seen in verses 10 and 14. So I figured that both pattern and sequence memories are organized hierarchically like a tree. Recall from the previous article that there are two distinct but complementary types of memory, symbolized by the place of the vine (sequence memory) and the place of the fig tree (pattern memory).
4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
This is a strange exchange. Why is the angel surprised that Zechariah does not know the meaning of the symbols? I think it is a clever way of linking verse 5 to verse 13 where a similar exchange occurs. More on this later.
6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’says the Lord of hosts.
Zerubbabel is the builder of the temple, the symbol of memory. This seems to indicate that the moving of consciousness (the seven eyes of God) through memory is not controlled by a physical mechanism but by a spiritual entity.
7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
It took me many years to figure this one out. Although the memories are organized hierarchically and signals must propagate from the bottom layer to the top layer of each hierarchy, propagation time is assumed to be instantaneous. In the brain, this means signals must propagate within 10 milliseconds. The brain uses electric synapses to accomplish this. What this means is that, to the rest of the brain, the hierarchies appear flat, as if they had only a single layer.
7 [...] And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”
The word 'capstone' is probably better translated 'top stone', i.e., a stone that is placed on top of another stone. Grace is forgiveness for imperfection. I think this means that the timing for the high level sequences needs not be very precise.

Coming Up

In Part II, I will finish the interpretation of the rest of Chapter 4.

See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Joshua the High Priest

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Joshua the High Priest, Part II

Part I, II

Abstract

In Part I, I gave an interpretation of verses 1 to 7 of the third chapter of the book of Zechariah. I claimed that Joshua the high priest is a metaphor for a sensorimotor mechanism in the brain's sequence memory. I wrote that the Joshua chapter was a continuation (or complement) of the metaphors found in the message to Sardis in the book of Revelation. I claimed that the Biblical model of perceptual learning sharply contradicts modern statistical approaches to machine learning. In todays post, I interpret verses 8 to 10 of the same chapter. The main thrust of these verses is that memory consists of sequences of patterns and that the sensory space is assumed to be perfect even though it isn't. But first, a few words about the Rebel Speech demo and the question of my sanity.

Just Call Me a Lunatic

It feels like I am preaching in the wilderness but this is something I just got to do. To repeat, my claim is that I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) from certain symbolic passages in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. In due time (be patient), I will release the Rebel Speech demo program that will corroborate my claims. Rebel Speech is completely unlike any other speech recognizer. It is both a learner and a recognizer. In addition to being able to learn to recognize speech in any language, it will also have the ability to handle any type of non-speech sounds such as animal calls or the sounds of machinery or musical instruments. It will be fast, noise tolerant and able to recognize spoken words and phrases before the speaker is finished saying them. It will be a game changer.

I could have waited until the demo is ready before divulging my source of knowledge but it would not have the effect that I am after. I prefer to call my shots ahead of time. I realize it all sounds crazy, especially considering that the scientific community is openly hostile to religion. Only a fruitcake like me could dream up something as farfetched as this and I admit it. I am not asking anybody to believe any of this. Feel free to call me a crackpot or a lunatic if you wish. Many do and it is a good thing they don't put food on my table. Laugh out loud. To the others I say, just wait until I release the demo and then you can make up your mind. There are big surprises on the horizon.

Joshua the High Priest
Zechariah 3:1-10
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying,
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.
8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’”
Commentary

Verses 8 to 10 pack an amazing amount of information about the structure of memory in just a few words. It is important to understand that all the metaphors pertain to a single memory mechanism. In fact, multiple metaphors are used to describe different aspects of the same mechanism. This is made explicitly clear by the repeated use of the word 'For' which ties one metaphor to the next. We saw earlier in Part I that Joshua was given clean garments to wear, meaning that the sensory space is assumed to be perfect even though it is noisy and incomplete. Below, I explain how and why this happens.
8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you,
As I will show, everything that comes after this sentence has to do with Joshua and his companions and what they symbolize. Note that the Hebrew word for 'companions' is often translated as 'associates' or 'friends'. Note also that Joshua's friends are not standing but sitting before him. This is crucial because it tells us that, unlike Joshua who is standing and has permission to walk around the temple, his friends do not have that authority and thus do not perform motor actions.

Also, the fact that they are sitting in front of Joshua is meaningful because the metaphor is repeated in the next verse. But what do Joshua's friends symbolize? In my opinion, each one represents a sensory pattern detector or recognizer. I explain why below.
8 [...] For they are a wondrous sign;
The Hebrew word translated 'a wondrous sign' has several meanings. Other translations have it as 'a symbol', 'a sign of things to come', 'men of portent', etc. I interpret this to mean that Joshua's friends symbolize pattern recognizers. The recognition of a pattern represents, or rather, symbolizes the occurrence of a complex sensory phenomenon. Patterns are inherently predictive. For example, a phoneme in a speech segment is usually followed by a small number of other phonemes to form a word. Words follow other words to form sentences, etc. Visual patterns are even more restrictive in their predictions. The word 'For' at the beginning of the sentence indicates that Joshua's friends are important precisely because they are predictors and represent complex events in the environment.

A few Bible translators believe that the word 'they' refers to both Joshua and his friends. It would make sense because, as I will explain later, memory is organized hierarchically and a sequence of patterns can itself be a node in a higher level sequence.

Another important thing to note here is that, although Joshua is strongly associated with patterns, the pattern recognizers themselves are not connected directly to motor effectors. Note that there is a part of the brain (cerebellum) that uses sensors to directly control motor output but that has to do with non-volitional or automatic motor behavior, e.g., the handling of such routine tasks as maintaining posture and balance. This is a topic for a future article but suffice it to say for now that Joshua is involved only with volitional motor control.
8 [...] For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the branch.
The Hebrew word for 'branch' actually means 'sprout' in English. The word is used again in chapter 6 of the book of Zechariah with the same meaning. Chapter 4 talks about two olive branches but it is referring to a different type of branch altogether, the branches of an olive tree to be precise (more on that in a future post). At first glance, we can say that 'branch' in verse 8 above symbolizes something that grows in a given direction like a branch or a vine. The word 'For' at the beginning of the sentence tells us that the 'branch' metaphor is tied to the fact that Joshua's friends are predictors. This suggests that Joshua's friends together represent consecutive patterns linked together to form a sequence. A sequence is, after all, a prediction mechanism.
9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes.
The use of yet another 'For' signifies that what is about to be said is tied to everything that was said before. A stone is a building block used in construction. This particular stone has seven eyes and is placed in front of Joshua. Some translators think that the 'eyes' are just facets cut into the stone. However, we find that the same Hebrew word translated 'eyes' is used in verse 10 of the next chapter. Since Joshua's friends are also sitting in front of him, we can surmise that the metaphor signifies that each building block of memory is a sequence of seven pattern recognizers (seven eyes). In this context, I think the 'eye' is an excellent metaphor for a pattern recognizer. Each eye sees or recognizes a different pattern.
9 [...] Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says the Lord of hosts,
In ancient times, stone masons were known to inscribe a name or identifier on every finished stone. The inscription told the builders precisely where to place the stone. Thus every inscribed stone was unique and could not be confused with another. Likewise, every pattern sequence represents a unique transformation in the sensory space and belongs in a specific place in memory.
9 [...] ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
This one is a little tricky. Note that only the iniquity of 'that land' is removed, not that of the whole earth. This tells us that 'that land' is referring to a small part of memory. It is safe to conclude that, using a unique sequence of patterns, the system can collect enough sensory data via the eyes (i.e., the pattern recognizers) to conclude that a particular phenomenon occurred. This is true even if the data is noisy and incomplete.
10 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.
This is a terrible translation, in my opinion. This is what happens when translators inject their own erroneous understanding into metaphorical texts. The original Hebrew verse says nothing about invitations or anybody in possession of either a vine or a fig tree. After studying the interlinear translation and various other translations, I came up with my own as seen below.
10 In that day, says Yahweh of Hosts, every man shall call out to his associate under the vine and under the fig tree.
Now we know exactly what was meant by 'that land' in the previous verse. The word 'vine' is a shoe-in for sequence whereas 'fig tree' is almost certainly a symbol for a pattern detector. But what does it mean to call out to one's associate? In my opinion, it is a way for the patterns and the sequence to clean up the imperfectly recorded timing of the sequence. In order words, once the brain is satisfied that a sequence actually occurred, it will act as if the sequence was perfect.

But there is more to the 'calling out to associates' metaphor. The brain uses a winner-takes-all mechanism of recognition. In other words, there are many sequences in memory that compete for the opportunity to be chosen and become activated. Once a particular sequence is recognized, it is considered the winner and it is a good idea to suppress the other competing sequences (the losers) in order to prevent them from activating. The brain uses inhibitory interneurons between columns to accomplish this.

Cortical Columns

After much research, I am fast coming to the conclusion that the Joshua metaphor represents a single cortical column in the brain's neocortex. I have written about cortical columns before and I intend to write more about them in the future.

Coming Up

In my next article, I will explain the metaphors of the golden lampstand, the two olive trees and the two olive branches. They represent the structural organization of pattern and sequence memories.

See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Joshua the High Priest, Part I

Part I, II

Abstract

I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) from certain metaphorical passages in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. In my first article in this series, I offered an interpretation of the message to Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) and claimed that it was a symbolic description of learning in sequence memory. In this article, I continue along the same line with an interpretation of the Joshua chapter in the book of Zechariah. The big surprise here is that the ancient texts directly contradict modern statistical approaches to perception and learning.

Joshua the High Priest
Zechariah 3:1-10
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying,
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.
8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’”
Commentary
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
Zechariah is having a vision in which he is visited by an angel. This is a continuation of the metaphors that we saw previously in the message to Sardis in the book of Revelation: "but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." As we will see later, Joshua is associated with a pattern sequence in memory. The important things to note here is that Joshua has a name, he is a high priest and he is standing before the angel. But why is Satan standing at his right hand? Satan is the accuser, whose job is to find faults in God's people. So obviously, Joshua must have done some bad things. This will become clearer when I discuss motor learning as revealed in the messages to the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira.
2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?
We can surmise that Joshua has gone through some tribulation by fire. As I will show in a future article, motor learning is symbolized as a trial by fire. Every sequence in memory is an integral part of the motor output mechanism of the brain.
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.
Verses 3 to 5 use the same filthy garments metaphor that we saw in the message to Sardis. They symbolize the imperfection that comes from the uncertainty of the sensory space. Clean garments signify that the imperfection is taken away, i.e., the sequence is assumed to be perfect even though the sensory signals are not.
Note: This is very important because it directly contradicts modern thinking on how perception and knowledge acquisition work in the brain. As I have said in the past, current AI/brain models assume that events in the world are inherently uncertain and that the job of an intelligent system is to discover the probabilities. But the book of Zechariah says this is not the way the brain does it. The Biblical model assumes that events in the world are perfectly consistent and that the job of an intelligent system is to discover this perfection. The perfection is assumed to be there even though the sensory space is noisy and incomplete.
The clean turban placed on Joshua's head is a sign of authority. That is, Joshua will have the power to walk (send motor commands) and perform other duties, as seen below.
6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying,
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts;
Again, walking has to do with motor output. In a future article about the book of Revelation, I will show that 'My house' is a metaphor that represents volitional motor behavior whereas 'My courts' represents non-volitional (automatic) motor behavior which is normally carried out by the cerebellum, i.e., the church of Laodicea.
I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.
This is interesting for several reasons. Obviously, Joshua is not the only one standing and able to walk (i.e., send motor commands). What is interesting is that the word 'places' is plural. I am not yet entirely sure if this means that a single sequence (Joshua) can send command signals to more than one motor effector at a time. We'll see.

Coming Up

In Part II, I will explain the meaning of verses 8 to 10. This is where it begins to get interesting.

See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail
Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis

Monday, January 6, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis, Part II

Part I, II

Abstract

In Part I, I wrote that I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) from ancient Biblical metaphorical texts that are thousands of years old. In my opinion, the message to the church of Sardis in the book of Revelation is a symbolic description of perceptual learning and attention in the brain's sequence memory. Below, I continue with my interpretation of the rest of the Sardis chapter.

Be advised that this is my current best interpretation of the texts and my understanding of the metaphors may change in the future, although not by much. This is a work in progress but I have come a long way. However, it is easy to get lost in minutiae and miss important revelations. I welcome any criticism or suggestion that will help improve this work.

Message to the Church of Sardis
Revelation 3:1-6
1 These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Commentary (continued)

4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments;

The dirty garments metaphor is a recurring theme. We will see it again in the Joshua chapter of the book of Zechariah. It symbolizes the fact that sequences are rarely perfect. Most of the time, a sequence will have many missing pattern signals. So how can the brain learn sequences if they are imperfect? The answer is that they are not always imperfect. At any one time, a few are indeed perfect. This is what is meant by "You have a few names". Note here every sequence is given a name. This is an important metaphor because it occurs in several other passages. Having a name implies that every sequence has a unique identity/meaning and represents a unique transformation in the sensory space.

and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

As we shall see in the Joshua chapter and elsewhere, 'walking' symbolizes motor output. What this means is that sequences can send signals to motor neurons which act on the environment. In future articles, I will explain how motor learning is accomplished when I take up the messages to Pergamos and Thyatira.

5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;

This is a powerful verse. In order for a sequence to overcome, it must first achieve perfection. Then the new connections must be strengthened (see Part I) through repetition until it becomes permanent (i.e., inscribed in the book of life). The strange thing is that the texts do not say how many times the connections in a sequence should be strengthened before they can become permanent.

but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

This is a direct reference to the Joshua chapter in the book of Zechariah. In it, Joshua, who represents a seven-node sequence, is said to be standing before the angel of God wearing filthy garments.

6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

This sentence is repeated at the end of each of the seven messages. I think it is a way of saying that the meaning of the metaphors is not something anybody can decode by just looking at the texts and venturing a guess. It takes diligent study and research. I have seen many interpretations of the seven churches and they all fall short. Most are insulting to God's intelligence.

Coming Up

Joshua the high priest is the topic of my next article in this series. It will get a little more interesting as we move along.

See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail

Artificial Intelligence and the Bible: Message to Sardis, Part I

Part I, II

Judeo-Christian AI vs. Materialist AI

As I have written elsewhere, I get my understanding of intelligence and the brain (see Secrets of the Holy Grail) from decoding certain metaphorical passages found in the books of Revelation and Zechariah. I call it Judeo-Christian AI (JCAI) because the source material comes from both the old and the new Testaments. One of my goals is to set JCAI as a superior alternative to Strong AI or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). AGI is what I call 'materialist or atheist AI'. Materialists believe that the brain is all there is to the mind and that consciousness is an emergent property of complex intelligence. In my opinion, it is all based on pseudoscience, superstition and wishful thinking.

I have a problem with the materialist viewpoint because I think it poses a danger to society. I don't believe that machines can be conscious. However, I anticipate that future intelligent machines will behave in such a way as to appear uncannily conscious. The danger is that many will treat the machines as if they were conscious, not unlike the way some are now convinced that animals are conscious. Some will demand that intelligent machines be given legal rights and many will even worship them as some kind of saviors. Evil leaders will certainly want to use this to their advantage.

Lately, AI is all the rage in academia and high technology companies. Big corporations like Google, IBM, Microsoft and FaceBook are spending huge sums of money in AI research. The excitement seems to be around two statistical approaches to intelligence called deep learning networks and the Bayesian brain. In spite of their initial successes, I predict that both of these approaches will go the way of GOFAI, the failed symbol-based AI model of the late 20th century.

I think that now is a good time for me to reveal my research methods in greater detail. I think that, by showing that the secret of intelligence has been coded in ancient texts that are thousands of years old will go a long way to counter the materialist onslaught. My plan is to write a series of articles designed as commentaries to the ancient texts. I will use the King James translation as a rule and other translations whenever the meaning of a passage is not very clear. Eventually, I hope to join these articles together into a single downloadable e-book.

Sardis and Memory

In this article, I will interpret the message to the Church of Sardis, in the book of Revelation. I am starting with Sardis because it has to do with how memory works. I believe that memory is the most important aspect of intelligence and the brain because it is the seat of knowledge. This is borne out by the level of attention it is given in the scriptures. More is written in the Bible about memory than any other part of the brain. The Sardis text deals specifically with perceptual learning and attention in sequence memory. Several chapters in the book of Zechariah (Yahweh remembers) also have to do with the organization and function of memory. I will get back to them in a future article.

Message to the Church of Sardis
Revelation 3:1-6
1 These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Commentary

1 These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, [...]

Right off the bat, the Sardis message plunges deep into the metaphorical sea. We are told elsewhere in Revelation 4:5 that the seven spirits of God are the seven eyes of God which are mentioned in Zechariah 4. I'll get back to Zechariah in a future post. Suffice it to say for now that the seven eyes of God represent the seven consecutive nodes of a sequence. They are the building blocks of memory. They also symbolize the short-memory capacity of the brain. In sum, Sardis has to do with memory sequences.

In Revelation 1:20, we are told that the seven stars are the angels (messengers) to the seven churches in Asia. I believe that the seven stars are mentioned here in order to distinguish between them and the seven spirits of God. I interpret the seven churches to mean seven functional modules in the brain. Each church has a specific function and I think this is why every message to every church includes the phrase, "I know your works".

[...] that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 Be watchful, [...]


Now we are starting to get into the heart of the Sardis metaphor. While the King James Bible says "Be watchful, [...]" in verse 2 above, most other translations have it as "Wake up, [...]". I think what this is saying is that sequence memory is normally inactive until it wakes up. Of course, not all of memory can be active at the same time. As I will show in a future post, this is related to the brain's attention mechanism.

[...] and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

I think this is talking about the fact that newly formed memories (sequences) need to be strengthened during recall, otherwise they will be forgotten. The word 'perfect' is often translated as 'complete'. This indicates that memory building (knowledge construction) is a never ending task. The same goes for remembering as we see below.

3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.

This one is a real beauty, in my opinion. Of course, the primary job of memory is to remember events. But notice that the message does not command Sardis to remember what it received and heard but how. In fact, the word is so unexpected within the context of the chapter that most Bible translators, unaware of the true meaning of the text, mistakenly use 'what' instead of 'how'. The important words here are 'how', 'received' and 'heard'. Look at the sequence diagram below:
The red circles are pattern neurons. They fire only when they receive concurrent sensory signals. Normally, if the sequence is detected, each pattern neuron will have fired in succession. I interpret verse 3 to mean that the sequence should remember the exact timing between successive firings. To compute the intervals between the nodes in the sequence, the sequence must sense (or hear) what time each node fires. But what does 'hold fast and repent' mean? I think this is referring to what neurologists and psychologists call a memory trace or engram. In other words, every time a sequence is recorded (remembered), the previously recorded intervals are replaced with the new ones.

Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

This is an easy one. It just means that if the brain is not paying attention to something, it will be completely oblivious to it. Again, the timing of events is paramount.

Coming Up

In my next post in this series, I will decode the rest of the Sardis message and explain how it is connected to the book of Zechariah.

See Also:

Secrets of the Holy Grail