[FoRK] Numenta research release

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Fri Mar 9 14:41:33 PST 2007

On Mar 9, 2007, at 2:51 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 09, 2007 at 02:00:58PM -0600, Jeff Bone wrote:
>> The argument against Hawkins is an argument about method, tradition,
>> and culture, not about theory --- and those are really weak and whiny
>> arguments to have.  We've had it before.  I won't indulge again
> The argument about Hawkins is that his is not much of a theory.
> I've bought a few of books about information processing in tissues
> lately. Contrast Hawkins "On Intelligence" with...

While I agree the devil's in the details, the thing I find  =

interesting about Hawkin's hypothesis --- you're right, it's not  =

theory, but neither are any of the others at this point --- is that  =

it's the first one to give a high-level qualitative description of  =

the cognitive process.  I.e., cognition arises in the delta between  =

prediction and observation.  Yes, it's hand-wavy about how that  =

process arises in the actual neural architecture, but he's taking  =

what is in some sense a top-down approach at solving a harder  =

problem.  It's certainly more interesting than e.g. Minsky's society  =

of mind --- with which it doesn't compete, of course --- and I'm not  =

taking swats at SoM, either, it's got plenty to tell us, too.  But  =

this is all alchemy at this point, anyway.

> Just look at the size, the feel, the equations, graphs, the  =

> bibliography,
> the citation index of the authors.

The medieval tomes full of astrological charts, elemental symbols,  =

dense Latin, and other quasi-technical scrawlings didn't get us any  =

further away from alchemy and towards a real science of chemistry  =

than, say, the philosophical ponderings of =E1tomos by Democritus long  =

before.  Don't discount the usefulness of the "philosophical"  =

approach to understanding fundamentally new science versus the  =

apparent meatiness of "mechanics."

Put differently: "technical" isn't necessarily persuasive.  I use  =

artificial neural models and other machine learning technologies to  =

make a living every day, these days --- but I'm under *absolutely* no  =

illusions that anything I'm doing has anything to do with  =

"intelligence" / "cognition" / etc. ;-)

> All of them are more or less correct. But they don't describe the  =

> whole animal.


>> Nope.  I don't read licenses as a matter of principle. ;-)  At least
>> not until I decide to maybe actually use something.
> I actually look at the license before I touch the package. It saves me
> a lot of wasted work.

Well then, you should love this:

READ CAREFULLY. By [reading this e-mail|accepting this material| =

accepting this payment|accepting this business-card|viewing this t- =

shirt|reading this sticker] you agree, on behalf of your employer, to  =

release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all  =

NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap,  =

clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete  =

and acceptable use policies (=94BOGUS AGREEMENTS=94) that I have entered  =

into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns,  =

in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges.  =

You further represent that you have the authority to release me from  =

any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

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