Geeks With Blogs
Henk Devos Henk's Random Thoughts Artificial Intelligence Some ideas i have on how we can build the first real thinking machines, and discussions of things i read.
Another chat bot
Some time ago, i wrote an entry about a chat bot. Here is another one. Mostly the same remarks go for this oine as for the other one: It doesn't have much memory, and relies mostly on smart tricks. Some of the tricks are very witty. At least this bot is honest. When it doesn't know what to say, it says:"I lost my train of thought." Unfortunately i seem to have crashed it just by saying my name ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2004 9:04 PM

Self-programming computers
Computers are really dumb. They can only do what we, poor hard working developers, tell them to do. Never come up with an idea themselves. Wouldn't it be much easier if computers could just program themselves? Our life would be a lot easier. Every now and then we can go check up on the computer, see how the software development is progressing, and for the rest do nothing and be paid for the computer's work. Hopefully the computer would even do a better job than we can do ourselves. Fortunately, the ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 24, 2004 9:01 PM

Half a brain

I heard the story of someone who had only half a brain working.
The one half stopped functioning completely at a very young age because of a severe cold.
This person is functioning completely normally.

Isn't it amazing how our brains can adapt?

Posted On Wednesday, March 24, 2004 8:49 PM

Ants are very dumb little creatures. They don't know how to do anything. They just seem to do everything at random. Ant colonies, by contrast, are smart, and can accomplish complex tasks. Ants normally wander around at random. When they find food, they take it to their nest and leave a pheromone trail behind. However, their random behavior is not completely random. The probabilities are influenced by pheromones. When there are more pheromones, there is a bigger chance that they will take this direction. ......

Posted On Sunday, February 29, 2004 5:44 PM

A new kind of science
After 20 years of hard work, Stephen Wolfram, the original developer of Mathematica (a mathematical software package) has released his book A New Kind of Science. The book is now available online. An excerpt: If theoretical science is to be possible at all, then at some level the systems it studies must follow definite rules. Yet in the past throughout the exact sciences it has usually been assumed that these must be the ones based on traditional mathematics. But the crucial realization that led ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 17, 2004 8:42 PM

Memes are just as selfish as genes: all they really care about is their own survival and reproduction. For a meme to be good at reproduction, there are no objective qualities involved such as truth, beauty and the like. Conspiracy theories that have no ground are usually much more popular than well founded theories that happen tio be true. Even memes that lead to a certain death can be very popular: For example suicide bombing. But just like humans can use genetical manipulation to put genes to their ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 17, 2004 5:44 PM

The world, my computer
If god exists, only programmers can really understand how he works. In the beginning there was nothing. Then he started running his program, and space and time started to emerge. If it would be possible to build a big enough computer, we could run a simulation of the universe that would be exactly the same. If this simulated would would contain life, would this be real or simulated life? The creatures living in the simulation would certainly think their world is the only real world, and they could ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 17, 2004 5:10 PM

Cellular Automata
Cellular Automata are simple agents that take a fixed number of binary inputs to generate a binary output. You can think of them as simple lookup tables: The same inputs will generate the same output. Cellular automata are usually shown on a grid. The most popular example is the Game of Life. Imagine a grid that has black and white cells. You can see the black cell as 1 and the white cell as 0. Now imagine the inputs of the cells to be the neighboring cells. The setup i want to discuss here is like ......

Posted On Monday, March 1, 2004 6:11 PM

Cells build cells
The world is filled with cells. These cells are the basic building blocks of life. The cells are themselved complex structures with molecules and smaller cells that work together in synergy, each part carrying out a specific task, so that the cell can perform its tasks as a whole. Cells live together in large colonies. These colonies are commonly known as humans. The cells work together in synergy, each performing a specific task, so that the colony can perform its tasks as a whole. Colonies of cells ......

Posted On Sunday, February 15, 2004 4:32 PM

A new society - Part II
Acceptance of technology To understand how new technologies will change our life, we must first consider how new technologies get accepted. I am no expert at this, and what i write here is not based on any type of scientific research, but this is a necessary step to continue this discussion. It is striking that certain new technologies, such as cell phones and DVD players, get accepted easily, while others, such as personal computers, have to struggle for decades before getting a place in daily life. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 12, 2004 8:36 PM

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