Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

Idealism

 

Idealism says, "Reality is caused by the ideas of the human mind. There is no reality independent of the human mind".

What could this mean for the artificial IS? It states that all that is real for it, that is all of its concept structure, and all its response rules, are the result of its sensing and thinking. There are no concepts and response rules outside its mind.

Let's look at some of the principal processes of sensing and storing experiences within the artificial IS. It receives communications from its environment by electrical impulses. Inside that part of the system that represents the brain, it transforms these impulses into numbers, represented by binary electric charges.

These numbers are the most elementary pieces of communication. The IS then connects them producing partial situations and finally the composite present situation. Please note that the artificial IS does not know "trees", "stones" and "food" that exists in the environment (Kant calls these the "thing itself"). The IS receives sense information and based on these creates concepts representing the sense information. These concepts are labeled by numbers. (They are the ideas, the sanscaras the Buddhists talk about). It is noteworthy that these numbers do not represent concepts; they are the concepts. For a number to represent something, that "something" that is represented, must exist. But in the IS there is nothing more than these numbers.

This brings up the question of what seem to be the minimum requirements for something to be a "concept". To make possible the working with concepts, each concept has to be clearly distinguishable from all other concepts. Also it should be possible to link a concept to other concepts. These two seem to be the minimum requirements. In an electronic IS, a number fulfills these two requirements. Each number can be clearly distinguished from any other number. Also each number can serve as an address at which other numbers can be stored. That is, the number can be connected to certain numbers, and not to others.

When we use a text editor within a computer, and write the word "tree", this word only represents our concept, because there is no connection within the computer between this word and "root", "branch" or "trunk". The connection exists only in the mind of the person who wrote it. When the artificial IS uses the concept "tree", the connections (the procedural definitions) are within the computer. So, for the IS, the number for tree is a concept; it does not represent a concepts.

When the artificial IS has combined elementary sensations, it assigns a number to the partial situation that we call, for instance, a stone. Also only by experiencing many situations where the number for stone appears, the IS, with time, knows what to expect from the number for a stone (We would say what properties a stone has, a procedural definition of "stone"). This is somewhat similar to what happens in humans. From the environment something reaches our sense organs and these then transmit binary electrical impulses through the nerves to the brain. Here, inside the brain, these impulses create the most elementary sensations. In humans it seems that the output of neural fields caused by their connectivity are the concepts. This output is of a binary nature. Excited and inactive neurons, are binary communications, very similar to numbers in computers, that, as we have seen, represent binary electric charges. The human brain does not know immediately of trees, stones and food, but receives only binary nerve impulses from different nerves. From these, by internal processes, concepts are build up.

As idealism states, realities such as the concept for "chair" or "table", are part of the mind. There are no concepts independent of the mind. In the artificial IS they are numbers stored in its mind. Also such a concept is much more than a representation of exterior form or color. The concept for "chair" includes that the chair can be used for sitting, or burned for heating. All this information does not exist in the "cause of all sensations" in the environment. It exists exclusively in the mind.

So Idealism is true, all the artificial IS's reality is caused by its ideas, its concepts. There is no reality outside its mind. Though there is something, that is not a concept , and that is not part of its mind, namely the "environment".

 

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Last Edited 30 July 2013 / Walter Fritz
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