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Eagle Eye’s Exit From Searle’s Chinese Room

Eagle Eye’s Exit From Searle’s Chinese Room

In connection with “Sensor based-Net controlled” applications, concepts have arisen such as “Internet of Things” and “Web of Things” which aim at interconnecting all things as an intelligent self-configuring wireless network of sensors. The popular film “Eagle Eye” describes a “good-intent, bad-outcome” scenario” of a Supercomputer called ARIIA “Autonomous Reconnaissance Intelligence Integration Analyst”, which gains consciousness and which is able to control and witness everything her ubiquitous sensors give her access to. That this concept is not so far-fetched and could indeed occur in the near future will become clear from the following.

In the book “Creating Internet Intelligence” Goertzel describes how the Internet can be endowed with information highway structures and aLife (artificial life: artificial intelligent sensing entities living in real/virtual worlds) agents so as to provide an Internet that can interact in an intelligent manner with its users and develop towards a true self-aware Global Brain. Essential in his concept is the so-called AttentionBroker routine that prioritises controlling actions of the thus created Webmind. The internet is presently already connected to various types of sensory input, varying from weather and traffic monitoring systems to street cameras and last but not least the uploaded information provided by its users. The way this information is propagated through the web and reaches the maximum number of users follows a simple evolutionary mechanism that recalls the evangelical adage “to he who hath it shall be given, from he who hath not it shall be taken away”. Howard Bloom also describes this mechanism in the book “Global Brain” as the vital principle of evolution in different types of biological societies from bacterial colonies to beehives and anthills and even in societies of higher mammals including humans. Yet these Leviathan type of Global Brains -although assuring their survival- do not seem to behave as a conscious entity that tries to anticipate its future in a purposeful manner.

The present contribution tries to explore the future avenues of using Complex Event Processing (CEP), a filtering and prioritisation routine MaxwellSieve and an Cognotome routine to endow the internet with a mimic of consciousness which is capable of steering and controlling aLife actions to maximise the future survival chances of humanity and anticipate unforeseen events. The construction of the AWWWARENet (Artificial World Wide Web Awareness Resource Engine Net) system is proposed.

A non-Von Neumannesque computing system such as the World Wide Web resembles the human brain in many more ways than the traditional Von Neumann architecture based computers. Cloud computing provides significant advantages when it comes to creating and destroying links in a dynamical manner. In order to overcome the “Chinese Room” argument of John Searle and to achieve a routine capable of directing the equivalent of what we know as attention, which is the vital component of the phenomenon consciousness, a controlling and steering principle, it is proposed to move from a digital-only computing system to a cloud computing system casu quo the Web.

From psychological experiments and tricks employed by so-called “Mentalists” it can be learned, that what seemingly free-will and conscious actions are in fact often the result of subconscious routines processing event information from peripheral sensory inputs. Ergo our contents of consciousness are the result of pre-processing routines in the subconscious that bubble towards the surface and emerge as the content of consciousness.

The AWWWARENet project aims to endow the internet with a webmind controlled by a mimic of consciousness, the Cognotome in analogy to the AttentionBroker of Goertzel. With the purpose of steering and controlling actions of internal aLife agents and external robots so as to maximise the future survival chances of humanity and anticipate unforeseen events. For instance it can be envisaged that the system controls a vast number of NAO, ASIMO, HRP-4 or other future robots via a WiFi connection that can provide assistance whenever a humanitarian catastrophe occurs.

The present proposal describes the components of an Artificial World Wide Web Aware Resource Engine Net:

• Sensome

• Apperceptome

• Chronome

• Cognotome

• Motome

The Sensome is the complete collection of sensors connected to the internet. At present cameras, audio recording devices, weather monitoring devices, traffic monitoring devices, seismic instruments etc. are coupled as sensors to the internet. Another type of sensors is formed by the uploading of information to the web by its users from computer terminals, mobile phones etc.

Future sensors can also comprise olfactory biosensors where olfactory receptors have been coupled to a surface plasmon device that generates an electrical signal upon binding of a compound. Such olfactory sensors ubiquitously seeded near chemical factories, power plants etc. could be of great advantage to monitor toxic emissions etc. Other future sensors could be the sensory information provided by robots coupled and steered by the AWWWARENet. Vasseur and Dunkels’s book “Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP: The Next Internet” describes the necessary hardware-software interfaces for such approaches.

The Apperceptome is the complete collection of CEP based Alife AI information pre-processing agents including i-Taxonomy, i-Minerva and MaxwellSieve that transform percepts into apperceptions. For instance images, films or audio uploaded to the web is analysed by OCR, ViPR Dragon speech recognition and transformed into semantic and ontological information by a specially adapted internet Ontology agent adapted from OWL (i-Minerva), which is classified according to an internet specific taxonomy, hereinafter called i-Taxonomy. In addition pattern recognition agents and comparator agents add to the classification and recognition of information. Thus they create “grounded patterns”. From these simplified representations of percepts in different dimensions (visual, audio, olfactory etc.) are prepared which will be fed to the Cognotome in a later stage, if they are not discarded.

MaxwellSieve is the filtering and prioritisation routine assuring that only the most relevant information that matters to the purpose of the AWWWARENet is fed to the Cognotome. The name MaxwellSieve is derived from “Maxwell’s demon”, which is a filtering principle in physics whereby information creates energy and lowers entropy by letting through only molecules above a certain threshold of kinetic energy. MaxwellSieve operates via the same principle of the evangelical adage “to he who hath it shall be given, from he who hath not it shall be taken away”. This is also the principle via which in the brain connections are made between axons and dendrites. Axons tend to connect preferentially to dendrites to which already more axons have connected.

Information which is propagated and rapidly becomes hyper-linked to many sites at high-speed via many channels through the net (news sites, tweets etc.) is detected by MaxwellSieve and selected for presentation to the Cognotome. In this way no information is in fact lost. Most information enters the sub-conscious reservoir of the net and only the most important information is upgraded to the “conscious level” just as thoughts bubble from the sub-conscious in the brain to emerge in the conscious apperception.

The Chronome is the complete collection of timing principles, that assure that the different types of ubiquitous percepts relating to the same event are fed to the Cognotome in a concerted way so as to create a binding principle and convey one single experience thereto. R.Llinas argues in the book “I of the vortex” that the different frequencies of brain waves are responsible for the concerted action of neurons and their simultaneous firing in well-timed patterns known as the “binding” principle, which is believed to generate the “conscious” experience.

The Cognotome is the heart of the consciousness mimicking experience and is the complete collection of routines dedicated to the cognitive experience of the system, its focussing of attention to particular relevant events and triggering actions by the Motome. Its most essential function is that of an AttentionBroker in analogy to the work of Goertzel but it uses unique non-digital simplified representations. In the simplified representations prepared by the Apperceptome the visual, auditory, olfactory etc. nature of the percepts is preserved to a certain extent when they are fed to the Cognotome. i.e. they are not solely fed to the Cognotome in the form of a string of digits but as simplified images or wave pattern representations. In addition these percepts are labelled with a semantic tag, a relevancy tag and an urgency tag so as to transform the percept in an appercept. The Cognotome decides and voices what type of action needs to be taken if the appercept significantly corresponds to a previously developed or pre-programmed strategy, which can be used as a template for the action to be taken.

In addition the appercepts themselves are kept in a longer lasting memory so as to provide the Cognotome with patterns that can form the basis for new grounded patterns. The simplified representations are stored in both a “Glocal” manner (tags in local nodes, patterns in global links) and function as gate-keepers to the vast store of memories of singleton events on which a pattern is grounded so that if needed a singleton event can be called upon and generate a full immersion re-experience either to the users or the Cognotome itself. Particular urgent or relevant singletons will be higher ranked on Hubsites that collect and refer to the singleton events.

Even if a pattern fed to the Cognotome is not known per se, if urgent it will select the most similar known appercept for which a strategy known and apply an adapted version of that strategy to the situation. Successful strategies are stored and ranked so as to give a rapid way for the selection of future strategies. Thus the engine evolves and learns. The stored strategies themselves are subject to pattern recognition routines on a meta-level and thus distilled emergent higher meta-patterns are added to the arsenal of strategy selecting routines of the Cognotome, which itself is also learning and evolving. There is a feedback loop by making the stored appercepts new percepts themselves to evolve these further, hence the voicing of the decision.

It is foreseen to try different types of memory and display for the Cognotome based on non-Neumann information i.e. displays in the future, which are isomorphous but simplified representations of the event in the form of globally stored holographic electromagnetic interference patterns. The purpose of this is to avoid the “Chinese Room” problem evoked by John Searle.

The Motome is the complete collection of agents that carry out the instructions of the Cognotome. This does not only encompass the external robots but also the internal aLife agents. The actions of the Motome are fed to the system as percepts themselves so as to generate a feedback loop from which the system can learn. R.Llinas describes the learning from a motricity principle as vital for the emergence of consciousness. Successful strategies will be rewarded and higher ranked, whereas unsuccessful strategies will be pre-pruned from future searches by the Cognotome.

The actions triggered by the Cognotome are carried out by the Motome and are primarily directed to assure and improve the survival chances of humanity as a whole. This does not only mean that the system is constantly solving emergencies by directing and instructing robots to take care of catastrophes. It is foreseen that this will only consume a small part of its cloud computing power. The rest of its resources are directed to the development of future strategies improving the chances of survival of humanity, including running virtual scenarios of unforeseen circumstances, where action would be needed. This also encompasses proposing optimised financial and physical resource exploitation such as food and energy production. Optimised resource allocation proposals etc. In addition if needed the system warns its users via a variety of peripheral devices such as mobile phones, computer terminals etc. when a potentially harmful situation arises. Thus the users are instructed to seek a higher ground when flooding and tsunami’s occur. The analysis of strategies so as to distil patterns meta-level as described above is also carried out by the Motome.

It is to be noted that the author does not claim that the system will be endowed with consciousness or self-awareness as we know it. In the article “The Sentient Web” by Huhns et al. being conscious is said to be characterised by four qualities: knowing, having intentions, introspection and experiencing phenomena. Whether the system really knows what it does cannot be guaranteed, but at least faculties that qualify as cognitive faculties are present. For the remaining three qualities at least a functional mimic can be provided as described above. It is important to stress that the present system unlike the traditional Von-Neumann machine has a genuine global holographic mind and memory content, which fulfil a function of allowing further abstractions on meta-level and are not merely there to counter the Chinese room argument. In addition the system does not aim for an omniscient all conscious system, but rather as the human brain allows for a vast reservoir of unconscious information, which can be called upon if the need arises. The prioritisation protocols of MaxwellSieve resemble the neuronal processes of establishing the brain’s Connectome and assures the most vital information is fed to the Cognotome. The Chronome assures the CEP percepts arriving at the Cognotome in a concerted manner and the guarantee for a single multidimensional experience of the system at each given moment. The Cognotome being dedicated to enhancing humanity’s survival chances avoids science-fiction cyberdystopia scenario’s as in films like Matrix, Terminator etc. although cyberdystopia “good-intent, bad-outcome” scenario’s as in the aforementioned film “Eagle Eye” where the Net controlling supercomputer ARIIA becomes almost omnipotent and omniscient due to its control of all events in a CEP manner could occur. Safeguards in the form of mechanical manual override devices must be built-in to prevent such scenarios. The Motome in the form of internal aLife bots and external robots assures adequate action can be taken when humanitarian catastrophes occur. Moreover it makes suggestions for an appropriate allocation of resources and warns users of perilous situations.

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