RE: Towards a prototype mini-AI

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Feb 01 2003 - 09:11:45 MST


It does seem to be true that, in the developing human mind, innate
capabilities are "activated" in a certain general sequence, corresponding to
a natural pathway from infancy to puberty. This idea has been around awhile
and lies at the root of the Montessori educational philosophy, Piagetan
psychology, and many other schools of thought.

In engineering a human-like AGI one could take this into account, by
creating an initial AI modeled on a human baby, and then creating more
complex structures and processes designed to emerge into the baby AI in a
manner phased over time, in coordination with its learning.

In Novamente, which is not human-like in its internals, there are analogues
to this process, but weaker ones. For instance, there are some processes
that will have their frequency of activation initially set very low, but
will be given greater activation as a Novamente instance learns and becomes
more mature. We are not yet at the stage in our project where we're playing
with this stuff though -- we're still building the ingredients of the
initial "baby" mind.

-- Ben

> Speaking as one with an intense interest in sociology and
> anthropology, what
> never ceases to amaze me is, in spite of the wildly variant cultural
> diversity of the earth's 6 billion + people, how *similar* we all are. I
> could think of several possible explanations, but the one that I tend to
> favor is that evolution has produced highly specific developmental
> processes, probably based on complex interactions involving the endocrine,
> nervous, and immune systems, among others.
> Just a thought :)
> Jonathan Standley

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