Z & Scott's facebook conversation yesterday - conceiving how independent avatars might conversationally emerge, using Richard Rorty as an example, and vis-a-vis poker bots, Chomsky bot and the Turing test
Hey, Z, briefly
How's it going?
i'm doing well, how are you
Well, thanks, too.
what are you up to these days
Any further thoughts about avatar agency?
What are you working on?
i'm in consulting
telecom media tech
Have you finished your BA?
yeah i just graduated
probably going to law school next year
interesting projects, compared with what you might find optimal?
what might you find optimal?
hmm tough to say
i dunno, i wanted to try the business thing
and making a bit of money is nice, i guess
and its certainly in an area that i'm interested in
there are creative opportunities there, too, especially with IT still
I can imagine
yeah... i think i'll probably end up going to law school, do ip law or something
its a good merger of my interests and my skills. i'll probably do dc or local politics for a while too.
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I'm exploring creating a World University - MIT OCW and Wikipedia
what are you up to these days, scott?
you may have two emails in facebook about what I'm up to - teaching "Society and Information Technology in SL, ethnography and world university
Teaching "Society and Information Technology" in SL, and working on an ethnography about Harbin Hot Springs, with a 3-D modeling aspect - harbin.org
I'm exploring creating a World University - MIT OCW and Wikipedia - where anyone might post a course or request a course, - and probably with a foundation, as well as opportunities to teach.
World University is a very open ended project, and potentially will continue that way
that's cool stuff
so you must still be very involved with berkman
I'd like to start a foundation for World Univ
What's optimal is an interesting question in terms of learning and Universities. What would be most fun ways or subjects to learn for you at the Univ level?
I'm in touch with a number of faculty at Berkman - just heard Palfrey talk about "Born Digital" in SF
yeah, he's a rockstar.
really - optimality that soars, thinking broadly
gosh, i don't know--i feel like i'm pretty biased from my college experience
there were courses that i thought i'd like that i was bored sick of
and courses i thought would be boring that were incredible
intro computer science, for instance
and the incredible ones were? And why?
i enjoyed cs, intro psych
structured flow experiences that led to constructing something?
all sorts of weird stuff
yeah that helped
but ultimately just stuff i was interested in.
why kantian ethics?
I can see why the 1st two might be interested in terms of 'flow'
it's just fascinating. kant's ethics is sublime--the epitome of pure reason.
probably similarly with kantian ethics?
kant's ethics is very... analytic
very logically driven
is it well structured? or one aspect?
well a great professor
well structured by any standard, i'm sure
but its hard to compare across fields like that
Yea - Was psych logical, as well? or insightful, or both?
more the latter.
they are such distinct fields
just really fascinating stuff -- this is how we think.
sorry i can't be more helpful. i'll think about it, though.
i'm curious, - about psych vis-a-vis avatar agency, too
Rorty recorded into a database and then delivered semantically and interactively through an avatar?
if you come across any parts of that scenario - programs, etc. - please let me know - do you know of any?
stating with poker bots that might be coded to deliver sentences rather than poker hands
that sounds sweet
and realizable, - but how?
i imagine that would be the easy part
making the delivery meaningful, harder
so the 'semantic' program might get as close as the chomsky bot, for example, but not closer?
at least you'd have to do some convincing
more bandwidth? :):)
always a start.
run chomsky bot faster, and get to more reaslitic meaning more quickly?
believable, that is - closer to Turing's ideal (that's what it is, isn't it?)
will it be enough? i guess we'll see.
why not start afresh with a sophisticated poker bot, or does that basic software 'underlie' the chomsky bot?
...where the playing of hands was accelerated with bandwidth, such that semantic delivery developed in 3-4 directions, and thus conversationally, and thus depart from the premises of Chomsky bot software?
developing the semantic delivery doesn't solve the root problem though
a kind of theater-game, word game, dialogue generativity software approach
it's still an algorithim
for flexible understanding
understanding is a malleable term
and novel conjunctions of ideas?
by understanding, you mean it's a mutating algorithim, or some such thing
the argument isn't that such an algorithim couldn't solve the problem. it's just that its highly unlikely given we don't understand what the problem is.
mutating or conversational
we don't know enough about our own language, our own brains, to create a machine capable of emulating it
defining understanding in computational terms? or defining conversation similarly? or, in terms of Rorty, defining philosophy?
so, semantics, superficially, is what you mean
more or less
i'm just a skeptic of reverse engineering.
which, I wonder?
superficially is too perjorative
I have to go soon, but Terrence Deacon at Berkeley who wrote "The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of the Brain and Language" (his Harvard Ph.D.) takes a reverse engineering approach, - there are lots of sophisticated communicative species as a start
i'll keep an eye out for it
thanks for the heads up
and for the conversation.
I have to do something now, but let's talk soon - likewise
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2008/09/web-avatar-agency-talking-richard-rorty.html - September 23, 2008)