Intelligent Systems And Their SocietiesWalter Fritz

Have an Objective


The first function that we will analyze is that of having an objective. We can observe very clearly in an artificial IS that when we give it no objective, it cannot act, or only act randomly. The system cannot do what we want, because we have not indicated to it, what we want it to do. This is obvious. On the other hand, how often have we observed that persons start to act, without having clearly defined what their objective is? How then can they possibly expect to reach their objective? Acting, without a clearly defined objective, is possibly the biggest error persons make when thinking. Without an objective there is no basis for choosing between one response and another, and with an ill defined objective the response will surely not be optimum.

What is the relation between the main objective and lesser level objectives? The main objective of all living beings is the survival of the species. Darwin has shown that only species with this main objective have survived and exist today. To reach the main objective we choose lesser level objectives, obtaining them helps in obtaining the main objective. There is a pyramid of objectives where always the lesser level objectives are guidelines for obtaining the superior objective. If we ask ourselves why we have a certain objective, we will come to a next level objective, and finally to the main objective. If we ask ourselves how we obtain an objective we will come to a lower level objective.

When deciding what to do, the artificial IS and also humans should start with the objective: What, exactly, do we want to obtain. The first question should be if that objective really is a good objective and what objective, of a higher level, this objective supports. If you have an important objective that you wish to reach, picture exactly the way you wish to get to it. Imagine the path and the intermediate way stations. These then become your subobjectives.

Well, what can we learn from all this? Knowing well the pyramid of objectives we can analyze if our present objective really is the best to reach our more permanent higher level objectives. Often we invest much time and effort in obtaining temporary objectives that really do not help us appreciably in reaching our important objectives. If we analyze our reasons for having a certain objective we can avoid detours and reach our important objectives in a more direct line.


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Last Edited 15 May 2013 / Walter Fritz
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