Mind.forth Programming Journal: 4 DEC 1998

Mentifex mentifex at scn.org
Fri Dec 4 21:15:13 EST 1998


THE EMERGENCE OF PSI

Let's see where we are right now.   When we run Mind.forth and we
enter a three-word sentence such as,  "I  see  you,"  the program
stores the auditory stream in the "kioku{" array and creates con-
secutive concepts in the "lexicon{" array.

In the old, original 26nov1994 Mind.rexx upon which Mind.forth is
based  (as a port from the IBM REXX of Michael Cowlishaw into the
stack-based  Forth  of Charles Moore),  the artificial mind would
now mull over the  statement or query  of the human user and lin-
guistically generate a response.

Typically,  Mind.rexx  would simply repeat the human input, as if
struggling to "grok"  or understand it.   But when the human user
entered the incomplete sentence, "Horses eat...," Mind.rexx would
come up with and state a complete  response  from its associative
knowledge base:  "Horses eat... hay."   We had not yet programmed
in the interrogative structure, "What do horses eat?," but Mind.-
rexx was nevertheless able to  respond  on the basis of spreading
activation.

Although we could have Mind.forth cycle or loop  through its men-
tal states, in practice we found that Mind.rexx needed a referen-
tial "control" variable to keep track of whether the Rexxmind was
"starting" or "attentive" or "thinking" or engaged in "re-entry."

If the current modality was "thinking," then Mind.rexx would call
first "Sensorium()" and then "Language(),"  so as respectively to
take in input and to respond linguistically to the input.  Howev-
er, the first step in the "Language()" function was to invoke the
"re-entry" modality, not so as to stop thinking but so as to feed
the results of thinking into the Edelmanesque re-entry mechanism.

So Mind.forth needs a referential, governmental control variable,
but let us call it "psi" instead of "control" for several reasons.
The word "control" is too  long  in terse, minimalist  Forth, and
the charged, exciting word  "psi"  will appeal memetically to all
manner of psi evangelists  who may not grok  Mind.forth  but will
spread its meme.  Finally, what would an artificial mind be with-
out a "psi" factor?

--
http://www.scn.org/~mentifex/ The Mindmaker Project: AI for Robots
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Agora/7256/m-forth.html Mind.forth



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