Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Power of Analogy and Artificial Intelligence

A “parquet deformation,” from Douglas Hofstadter’s Metamagical Themas, 1985

A la Douglas Hofstadter, the metamathematical wizard, the “man who will break your spell check,” the power of analogy gives artificial intelligence the edge it needs to squeeze us out of the equation. A new artificial cognition design technique known as ---  “structure-mapping engine (SME), the new model is capable of analogical problem solving, including capturing the way humans spontaneously use analogies between situations to solve moral dilemmas.” ( 2016)

Fluidity, intuition, morality – these are things that are hard to come by in computers these days. But one of the things that allows us think in this way is the power of analogy.

And not only is the “language of smell” an entirely metaphorical concept – both in the way it uses other senses to generate its descriptions (sweet, sharp), and in the way the smells are described (orange is like lemon, but not like butter; peach is somewhere between fruity and butter) – but more importantly, this phenomenon, the language of smell, is a powerful analogy for the primitive mind. Teach a robot to smell, and we’re out of here.

Notes:, June 2016

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