RE: Languages and AI

From: Durant Schoon (
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 18:04:09 MDT

> From: "Ben Goertzel" <>
> Why on earth do you folks want logical control to be expressed in XML,
> anyway?

For my purposes, I want to be able to visualize code, reading a
common description of language independent algorithmic components.
XML makes a nice common format that will have lots of tools
available for manipulation. And is powerful enough to represent
most any data structure I can think of.

There are several things I find interesting to do with this:

1) Create graphical animated *INTERACTIVE* representations of what
transpires during program execution. This will help other programmers
see what's going on (we are a heavily visual species) and will help
in the same way that patterns form a common understandable mental
models. The structure of programs, with all their dependencies is not
captured all that well by mere text (though text can be a great way
to enter programs). Programs themselves should be thought of and
manipulated as rich data structures! (ie. graphs of interdependencies,

2) Map to all other programming languages (both ways, ie.

3) Once a nascent programmer AI starts spitting out programs of
ver own, I'd really want to be able to understand them. Pretty,
animated pictures which hilight dependencies and causalities
seems like the best thing to me. If mappings existed to other
programming languages, the AI could start studying the body of
open source software to determine what is useful and what isn't.
With the parse tree also in XML (ie. Flare as Eli suggests), the
AI learning to code would have access to making all sorts of
optimizations at all levels.

Again this is just a personal interest of mine. Why might the
world want control structures in XML? Portable computing. I send
you a codelet. You parse it and run it. Very fluid. It would be
the ultimate extension of write once, run anywhere.

The goal is not merely to be able to represent these control
structures, but to build a world wide infrastructure that uses
these (yes, binary is better, but to define them we want XML
and then we can come up with binary analogues).

Refal as XML is a first step. I might be able to use that as a
starting point. I'm not sure this is available to me as a free
open source programming environment. So maybe I should check.
Since I think Friendly AI is really important, I'd rather help
the Flare cause if it helps Eli (since then maybe I'd be able
to play at least a miniscule role is leading to the Singularity).

Durant Schoon

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