RE: A fairly concrete path to the Singularity

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 18:59:02 MDT

My thinking has evolved a HELL OF A LOT in the period 1997-2000, i.e. during
the time I was working on the WM AI Engine... let alone since 1989-90 when I
wrote The Structure of Intelligence.

Not that I've changed my basic philosophy in any way. I'd say that my 4 cog
sci books explored different aspects of the same basic conceptual point of
view. The WM AI Engine incorporates all these aspects, and some other stuff

The books basically deal with the following topics:

Structure of Intelligence -- formalizing what mind and intelligence are,
dividing theproblem of AI into hopefully manageable parts

Evolving Mind -- analogy between mind and evolution, formalization of
evolutionary/ecological aspects of mind

Chaotic Logic -- a formal model of the mind, very abstract and not directly
useful for implementation, with a focus on the self-organizing dynamics of
mind rather than the structure. Evolution is part of the self-organizing
dynamics of mind, and the structures of intelligence are "attractors" of
these dynamics.

>From Complexity to creativity -- How does profound creativity come out of
mind dynamics and structures? I try to get at the essence of this by
combining psychology, various CS experiments (evolutionary computer music,
graphics, etc.), and my previous theories of mind

Only AFTER writing all of this stuff, and thus getting a really deep
intuitive feel for the computational and mathematical modeling of all
aspects of mind, did I begin really deeply thinking about how to implement a
mind, how to teach it, etc. ... the stuff dealt with in Digital Intuition.

So all the ideas in my older books are there in the WM AI Engine, but
sometimes it may take some thought to see how they manifest themselves. And
there is some important stuff in the AI Engine that's not in any of the
earlier books -- big big gaps in my previous thinking that only became
apparent when I actually got more concrete.

It's all part of a natural conceptual evolution ...

Looking back, I find those earlier books kind of frustrating to read. A lot
of vague stuff compared to the clarity with which I see things now. And the
first two books have just a hideous number of typos, including some bad ones
in math formulas. But, that's the way the cookie crumbles.... If I ever
have time I'll go back and rewrite them all in light of what I understand

Also, I'll post a summary of Digital Intuition to the list sometime over the
next couple days, OK?


> Just yesterday, I read a book of yours called "The Structure of
> Intelligence." I'll read the others soon:
> How similar is the current WebMind application to the rough outlines you
> discuss in that book and the subsequent ones (besides the current design
> documents having a lot more low-level implementation details)?
> Kind regards,
> -ben houston
> 4th Year Cognitive Science / Neuroscience

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