|Intelligent Systems And Their Societies||Walter Fritz|
What is a System?
In the subsequent text, we will be talking continuously about "systems." Now, if we ask ten people to tell us what they mean by the word "system," we will probably get ten different answers. That's not good for communicating ideas successfully.
For the development of artificial intelligent systems (IS), a scientific sociology, and a scientific ethics, we need a simple, exact, and useful definition of system. The definition must be simple for easier deductions. THE definition must be exact and expressed in previously defined words, so that our deductions can be exact. Finally, the definition must be useful, to permit interesting and useful deductions. So, let's see if we can reach such a definition.
Examples of "Systems"
We will start by discussing some examples of commonly known systems.
Definition of the Concept "System"
So now that we have seen all these examples of systems, can we find a definition that fits them all? We have thought about it and made up the definition that follows. We believe it covers all the examples.
A system is:
We determine a system by (mentally) separating those parts of the universe having intense correlations with each other, from the rest of the universe. With the concept "correlation" we mean a statistical relationship between before and after. See Correlations for a more extensive explanation.
For each system there are predominant correlations. Some have gravitational, electromagnetic or communication correlations. For a specific system we can make up a list of many correlations, less and less strong. It would be impossible and unnecessary to take into account all existing correlations. Normally, when defining a system, we take into account only the strongest correlations.
We will use the above definition of "system" for the rest of this book.
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