Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

Mental Methods


Mental methods are response rules whose action occurs only in the brain. They can be response rules for managing information, for instance those we use when we imagine something. Also they can be very general response rules, including various levels of abstract response rules.
Learned activity, concepts and response rules, accumulate continuously over the life span of an IS. If we wanted to model this accumulation, we could let R be the amount of response rules existing at time t, k1 be the average learning factor, k2 be the average forgetting factor, and Dt be the interval of time since the start of the IS. The formula for this could then be represented as:

Rt = k1 x (Dt)   -   k2 x (Dt)
The same is true for concepts. Naturally, this simple formula does not say anything about the usefulness of learned response rules. For that we would have to expand the formula, adding the usefulness of all response rules. But still, response rules that exist must have a certain usefulness, otherwise the brain would have forgotten them or never learned them in the first place.

If the span of life is considerable, some response rules learned early in life, may not be applicable anymore, due to a change in environmental conditions. The IS had learned these response rules and found them useful and, therefore, they are difficult to forget. As a result, the IS works with inadequate response rules. This is the case with human beings, there is a generation gap and these persons have future shock.


So far, we have just observed concrete experiences and, as a result of these, the creation of concrete response rules. But what happens if, during the sleep period, an artificial IS replaces, in the action part of response rules, elementary concepts with composite concepts?

In a response rule of this new type in the response part, several concepts are replaced by only one. When the SI executes the actions, it takes the composite concept and executes each. Such a response rules with a composite action is easier to handle in mental operations since only one concept instead of several is concerned in the action part.

On the other hand, if in a response rule, the IS replaces in the situation part a concrete concept by its corresponding abstract concept, then this rule is applicable to a range of concrete situations. Namely all the situations that contain a concrete concept, an example, of the abstract concept. These rules we can also call mental methods.


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Last Edited 11 April 2013 / Walter Fritz
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