Sketch of System

This is a sketch of the system as I’m currently thinking about it. I’m not entirely happy with it, and some aspects are unclear. For example the use of object location in space and time is not known yet. Also there needs significantly more detail in the description of the Neuron-Like Network.

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Should the Machine have Non-REM Sleep?

One of the points of discussion with the philosophers was whether the dreaming machine will have analogues of all the characteristics of human sleep. Some of these don’t make sense to include, as in the alteration of self-consciousness (as the machine has no consciousness), but one in particular, the stages of sleep ranging from REM sleep to Slow-Wave-Sleep, could be relevant.

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Revisiting Rough Notes

I’ve been keeping my rough notes on DM3 for quite a while now, since doing the directed readings with Steven, through IAT 888, and now for the “actual” development. I’ve also been keeping notes through the early IAT888 development. I’ve gone through the documents and commented and/or striked out stuff that is no longer relevant, is too dependent on development, or is just out of scope with the time limitations of the project. I wanted to post an archived version before I remove the striked out text. I’m using the information contained in it to start sketching out a system design. I hope my next post will be a start of that document, and a diagram of the system as I’m currently thinking about it.

Meeting with Neurophilosophers

I’ve finally had a chance to listen to the recording, made during my meeting with Neurophilosophers Lyle Crawford and Simon Pollon, and one of my committee members, Dr. Steven Barnes, and write some rough notes. The purpose of the meeting was to explore philosophy as a overarching framework to constrain choices that impact artistic, computational and physiological aspects of the project. The discussion was valuable and we discussed a number of issues I had not considered. We discussed a philosophical perspective on the project and particular issues around conceptual development and meaning. This post is organized into sections that reflect the various themes covered.

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System Sketch and Background Subtraction

During a recent committee meeting after discussing my Annotated Bibliography I returned to discussing the current sketch of the system:

The “S” boxes on the left are the raw stimulus from the world, the banks in the middle are the VQ codebooks that represent the visual prototypes (they represent classes of inputs). The black dots are neuron-like structures that learn associations between prototypes. These are the high level “concepts”. During a dream, latent activation will activate these neurons, which will result in the associated prototypes being activated. This is how a dream would be “imagined”.

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Constructivist Development & Grounding Meaning

After reading the previous post I am struck by the fact that I have not come very far at all conceptually. After reading so many refs in order to finish my annotated bibliography I’m still left with the same essential question. Indeed this question, the search for a middle ground between causal and intentional conceptions of meaning, may not be (re)solvable.

I met with a specialist in constructivist development, Jeremy Carpendale, to triangulate and clarify my readings in infant development. The corner stone of development is that meaning is that which can be done with an object (everything is an object to be sucked), and/or the sensation that it fulfills. Both require that the organism have two things: biologically rooted needs/desires and will.

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