Paul Almond’s Attempt to Generalize AI has reached Part 8: Forgetting as Part of the Exploratory Relevance Process. (pdf)
Aspro Potamus tells me I should not have missed the Online Consciousness Conference.
An interesting piece from Robert Fortner contends that speech recognition software has hit a ceiling at about 80% efficiency and that hope of further progress has been tacitly abandoned. I think you’d be rash to assume that brute force approaches will never get any further here: but it could well be one of those areas where technology has to go backwards for a while and pursue a theoretically different approach which in the early stages yields poorer results, in order to take a real step forward.
A second issue of the JCER is online.
Alec wrote to share an interesting idea about dreaming:
“It seems that most people consider dreaming to be some sort of unimportant side-effect of consciousness. Yes, we know it is involved in assimilation of daily experiences, etc, but it seems that it is treated as not being very significant to conciousness itself. I have a conjecture that dreaming may be significant in an unusual way – could dreaming have been the evolutionary source of consciousness?
It is clear that “lower animals” dream. Any dog owner knows that. On that basis, I would conclude that dreaming almost certainly preceded the evolution of consciousness. My conjecture is this: Could consciousness possibly have evolved from dreaming?
Is it possible that some evolutionary time back, humans developed the ability to dream at the same time as being awake, and consciousness arises from the interaction of those somewhat parallel mental states? Presumably the hypothetical fusion of the dream state and the waking state took quite a while to iron out. It still may not be complete, witness “daydreams.” We can also speculate that dreaming has some desirable properties as a precursor to consciousness, especially its abstract nature and the feedback processes it involves.