purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
We (meaning my research group) have recently become interested in "ethical autonomy". From our point-of-view our interest is quite prescribed. Having formalised the "rules of the air" and created autonomous programs that can be shown to obey them we then got faced with the issue of when you want a pilot to deliberately break the rules of the air because there is some compelling ethical reason to do so (one of the examples we look at is when another aircraft is failing to obey the rules of the air, potentially maliciously, by moving left to avoid a collision instead of moving right. If the autonomous pilot continues to move right then eventually the two planes will collide where a human pilot would have deduced the other aircraft was breaking the rules and eventually would have moved left instead, thus breaking the rules of the air but nevertheless taking the ethical course of action).

Since ethical autonomy is obviously part of a much wider set of concerns my boss got involved in organising a seminar on Legal, Ethical, and Social Autonomous Systems as part of a cross-disciplinary venture with the departments of Law, Psychology and Philosophy.

It was an interesting day. From my point of view the most useful part was meeting Kirsten Eder from Bristol. I knew quite a bit about her but we'd not met before. She's primarily a verification person and her talk looked at the potential certification processes for autonomous systems and pointed me in the direction of Runtime Verification which I suspect I shall have to tangle with at some point in the next few years.

There was a moment when one of the philosophers asserted that sex-bots were obviously unethical and I had to bite my tongue. I took the spur of the moment decision that arguing about the ethics of what would, presumably, be glorified vibrators with a philosopher while my boss was in the room was possibly not something I wanted to get involved in.

The most interesting ethical problem raised was that of anthropomorphic or otherwise lifelike robots. EPSRC have, it transpires, a set of roboticist principles which include the principle: "Robots are manufactured artefacts: the illusion of emotions and intent should not be used to exploit vulnerable users." The problem here is that there is genuine therapeutic interest in the use of robots that mimic pets to act as companions for the elderly, especially those with Alzheimers. While this is partially to compensate for the lack of money/people to provide genuine companionship, it's not at all clear-cut that the alternative should be rejected out of hand. Alan Winfield, who raised the issue and helped write EPSRC's set of principles, confessed that he was genuinely conflicted about the ethics here . In the later discussion we also strayed into whether the language of beliefs, desires and intentions used to describe cognitive agent programs, also carried with it the risk that people would over-anthropomorphise the program.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I seem to have a long list of things I want to blog about, hopefully I'll actually manage to get down to it properly this week!!

Anyway to start another of my (obviously not remotely weekly) 100 papers in AI.

100 Current Papers in Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning and Agent Programming. Number 6

Vivi Nastase and Michael Strube, Transforming Wikipedia into a Large Scale Multilingual Concept Network, Artificial Intelligence (2012) (In Press)

DOI: 10.1016/j.artint.2012.06.008
Open Access?: Not that I can find.

Discussion )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
100 Current Papers in Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning and Agent Programming. Number 5

Adam Sadilek and Henry Kautz. Location-Based Reasoning about Complex Multi-Agent Behaviour. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 43 (2012) 87-133

DOI: doi:10.1613/jair.3421
Open Access?: Yes!

People got to play Capture The Flag for Science!! )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
100 Current Papers in Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning and Agent Programming. Number 4

Giuseppe Della Penna, Daniele Magazzeni and Fabio Mercorio. Applied Intelligence 36:932-959

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/z10489-011-0306-z
Open Access?: Sadly no.

Hybrid Systems seem to make up a large part of my work these days )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
100 Current Papers in Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning and Agent Programming. Number 2

Jacob M. Howe and Andy King, A Pearl on SAT and SMT Solving in Prolog, Theoretical Computer Science Volume 435, 1 June 2012, Pages 43–55.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031
Open Access: Available from Kent School of Computing Publication Index: http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/pubs/2012/3136/index.html

I'm not sure quite how the terminology of a programming pearl arose. It denotes a neat, elegant or otherwise illuminating solution to some programming problem. In this case the programming pearl shows how a solver for a certain sort of logic can be programmed up in only 22 lines of of the Prolog Programming language.

Details under the Cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (agents)
100 Current Papers in Artificial Intelligence, Automated Reasoning and Agent Programming. Number 1.

Catholijn M. Jonker, Viara Popova, Alexei Sharpanskykh, Jan Treur, and Pınar Yolum. Formal Framework to Support Organizational Design. Knowledge-Based Systems 31:89-105, 2012.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.knosys.2012.02.011
Open Access?: Sadly no.

I was half hoping to start these posts with a terribly exciting AI paper but sadly nothing terribly exciting caught my eye in the various Tables of Contents last week. However this is very much a bread-and-butter AI paper and so in some ways I'm not so sorry to be starting out with it, since it gives a good impression of what a lot of AI types do when they are not trying to develop machines that will take over the world and wipe-out humanity.

More Under the Cut )

So there you go, not terribly exciting, but a fairly typical current paper in artificial intelligence.

15 Games

Oct. 14th, 2010 08:57 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. 15 games you've played that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends.

I got tagged on Facebook, as usual I'm not tagging, but feel free to consider yourself tagged if you so wish.

15 Games under the cut )

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/22116.html.

15 Games

Oct. 14th, 2010 08:57 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. 15 games you've played that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends.

I got tagged on Facebook, as usual I'm not tagging, but feel free to consider yourself tagged if you so wish.

15 Games under the cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
In which we show that using AI/Agent based approaches let's you write shorter code, which I will confess, isn't really news in the AI/Agent community but this has gone to a "Space" conference (albeit Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space).

Reviewers' Comments in their entirety:

This is a quite simple approach; not academically sophisticated.
Interesting: related to efficient coding of control algorithms by means of BDI..


It's always nice to know the peer review process is rigourous and robust.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/3136.html.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
In which we show that using AI/Agent based approaches let's you write shorter code, which I will confess, isn't really news in the AI/Agent community but this has gone to a "Space" conference (albeit Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space).

Reviewers' Comments in their entirety:

This is a quite simple approach; not academically sophisticated.
Interesting: related to efficient coding of control algorithms by means of BDI..


It's always nice to know the peer review process is rigourous and robust.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I have heard from the reviewers about the revised version of your
submission to JAR. Based on their comments,
I am happy to inform you that your submission is accepted provided the
following comments in the report can be addressed. Please prepare a
final version and send it to me along with a letter explaining how you
have handled the comments in the report. I will then decide and forward
the final manuscript to the publisher of JAR.


I have been trying to get this paper published in this particular journal since before G was born. I'm not sure quite when I started referring to it as the "Albatross Paper". My boss will be pleased as well. He's not one of the authors, but he'd like to help me improve my publication record and so clearly feels that telling me at regular intervals to get on with rewriting/resubmitting/chasing the progress of the thing is a duty. I'm sure it's a duty he'll be glad to be relieved of.

At this stage the research reported in the paper (an adaption of an automated reasoning technique called Rippling to a more expressive logic) is rapidly reaching the status of historic interest only. But it has irritated me somewhat to see the people currently using the technique, grappling with same problems I did a decade ago, without being able to do more than refer them to a technical report for solutions.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/937.html.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (proof planning)
If your proof plan is going astray,
with a wave-front blocking the way,
then dream up a lemma,
to ripple the fella,
so fertilize can have its day.


Alan Bundy

purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (proof planning)
My PhD Supervisor has been turned into a work of art by Günter Bachelier.

The following is a sample:

purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
I just picked out of my work pigeonhole a package with Swedish Stamps. My address is hand-written as is a note in one corner which says "Will tell you more when I return!"

Inside is a slim volume entitiled "Being or Nothingness" by Joe K

The author, you will note, is an anagram of Joke.

There is a sticker on the cover which says "Warning! Please study the letter to Professor Hofstadter before you read the book. Good Luck!"

Douglas Hofstadter is best know as the author of Godel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid. A kind of pop-AI, maths and philosophy book which I was first encouraged to read by a Maths teacher in sixth form but which I only actually finished a couple of years ago. It's a good, if fairly dense, book and I'm not sure how comprehensible it actually is to someone who doesn't already have an AI/Maths/Phil background.

Inside the front cover is attached a letter to Hofstadter which rambles a bit and says things like "The text can be incorporated into both the Jewish and Christian tradition, but doing so with too much vigour would be to narrow its scope."

The back cover blurb implies the contents are a Swedish translation of Conan Doyle's lost "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" and adds that it is "oddly intertwined" with Hofstadter and his new book "I am a strange loop"... "which will soon be released by your Publishing House"

The Preface starts "One day I found a book. It was lying open, visible to all, but I was the only one curious enough to pick it up. This I have regretted many times." and ends "Brace yourself and turn the pages gently as you embark on a strange journey through time and space."

The contents appears to be short random pieces e.g. (page 6)

"Dedication

In commemoration of Joseph Knecht, magister Ludi Josephus III,
who abandoned `the glass bead game,'
the most beautiful of ideas,
FOR LIFE...
... UNTO DEATH"


(That's it for page 6).

Note reappearance of good old Joe K.

-

Beyond noting this is the sort of thing Who authors Lawrence Miles or Jim Mortimore might write, I'd say this was a publicity stunt for Hofstadter's new book except that it seems a pretty expensive way to do publicity - randomly posting books from Sweden with hand written addresses to vaguely related academics. It's not like I know Hofstadter in any way even though I do work in his general area.

Thoughts?
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (aisb)
Prompted because I was just sent a link to his obituary to put on the AISB website.

BundyFest

Aug. 15th, 2008 06:24 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (rippling)
I've this long list of things I've been meaning to blog about over the past few months. I recall making a rather drunken post from BundyFest at the time, but I thought I might try a more sober round up of the event. In brief, Alan Bundy, my PhD supervisor is 61 so we had a symposium to celebrate his 60th Birthday and the opening of the "Informatics Forum" - the rather fancy title of the new Departmental building created for Informatics in Edinburgh, after their previous department burned down in mysterious circumstances.

Alan has worked primarily in Automated Reasoning a field which, one the whole, I would say really took off in 1965 when Alan Robinson published "A Machine-Oriented Logic Based on the Resolution Principle". Alan Bundy started working in what was then the Metamathematics Unit at the University of Edinburgh in 1971 and this became a part of the the Department of Artificial Intelligence in 1974. It's worth remembering how young the field was at this time. Automated Reasoning was only 10 years on from its first major result (Robinson's Resolution paper mentioned above) and it was only 20 years since John McCarthy coined the term "Artificial Intelligence". So it's not surprising that Alan Bundy's early work also involved what are now considered separate subfields such as Machine Learning, Automated Software Engineering and Natural Language. At the symposium a number of his colleagues and students were invited to talk and they were spread across all these fields.

I would identify two major themes from the talks and panel sessions held at the symposium:

What happened to Strong General Artificial Intelligence )

Ontologies are the Grand Challenge )

Other interesting factlets:

Ewen MacLean wrote a Jazz piece based on rippling (probably Alan Bundy's most famous automated reasoning technique) which was performed by what, I gather, are some of Scotland's best Jazz musicians, at the reception. I don't pretend to understand how the music related to rippling though.

Everything was being filmed for posterity but that meant everyone taking the microphone to ask a question was supposed to identify themselves. Much amusement was thereby had every time Alan Bundy asked a question and started it by saying "I'm Alan Bundy".

Alan's PhD supervisor Reuben Goodstein was, in turn, supervised by Wittgenstein. I've always been rather pleased by the fact that, in PhD terms, I am a descendent of Wittgenstein and, of course, via Wittgenstien of Bertand Russell.

The most important thing Alan ever told me was that really intelligent people worry more about understanding things than looking stupid. Therefore they ask questions whenever they don't understand something. I'm not as good at this as I should be.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
I spent two hours this afternoon when I really should have been writing either the TPHOLs or ProMAS papers listening to Aaron Sloman talk in the "Thinking about Mathematics and Science" seminar series. Aaron apologised in advance that his thoughts were not well organised but the topic had turned out to be rather larger than he had at first thought.

Aaron was interested in the way that mathematics (or reasoning in general) was neither an impirical nor a completely trivial process and how we learned to reason and how that might impact on the design of intelligent systems. One of his earlier remarks was that, when studying philosophy at Oxford, he had been taught the Humean/Russellian approach to the philosophy of mathematics - essentially that mathematics is unrelated to the real world and is about the manipulation of symbol systems. He had later discovered, and agreed with, Kant's approach that Mathematics is about some other kind of non-impirical knowledge. I never studied Kant and did not even know he had written about mathematical philosophy which shows that this attitude still survived when I was studying mathematics and philosophy I would guess 20 years after Aaron did. I was a little dubious about some of this, I accept that when learning and studying mathematics we do acquire knowledge but I'm not convinced this knowledge is non-trivial (as in it doesn't follow logically from things already known) I think we are inclined to forget there are distinct resource-bounds on reasoning, both in humans and computers, which means it takes time to discover the logical consequences of known facts. However, I'm also thinking I should try and find a text book on Kant's approach to the philosophy of mathematics.

Aaron used, as examples, a number of spatial and geometrical reasoning problems. These are problems which are generally extremely simple when thought about the right way, but become tortuous if reduced to mathematical logic. His argument was that logic could not be the underlying process of mathematics. He was later picked up on this when an audience member pointed out that all computations on von Neumann machines are underpinned by Logic, so logic was the representation if such machines did spatial reasoning. I thought the obvious answer here was that although logic might by the underlying representation you were doomed if you attempted to search for the solution at the logic level and you need the more diagrammatic representation to make the reasoning problem tractable. So while logic may form an underlying representation into which all these problems can be embedded its not necessarily the language in which we, or computers, can or should reason about them, at least not if we wish to reason efficiently. My former PhD supervisor, Alan Bundy, has become extremely keen, in recent years, on the idea that the significant task in approaching a mathematical problem is to find the right representation of the problem, not the actual search for a solution. Aaron instead argued that you could not treat von Neumann or Turing machines as logical since they were embedded in the real world. Alan has also done some interesting work (I think anyway) on the way reasoning works with these representations and how this can account for some common mistakes, and some classic non-theorems.

I had not known that when he first moved into Computer Science, Aaron had worked in Computer Vision but he made the interesting point here that he felt that the computer vision people were still making the representation mistake. Seeking to interpret visual signals in order to form a precise model of the world complete with exact angles and so forth, rather than an appropriate representation for problem solving.

Niggles about logic and representation aside, it was a stimulating talk and Aaron easily held our attention for an hour and a half, followed by half an hour of questions, which is no mean feat in itself.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Achieved:

  • Gave Dream Talk. AB suggested checking out Machine Learning literature and asking AI about testing.

  • Got an IsaPlanner critic to work, but couldn't integrate it with the middle-out reasoning proof of yesterday.



Unachieved:

  • Blue book note still unwritten but exists as a draft.

  • End-to-end example of using program slicing to detect and error and then middle-out reasoning to fix it in IsaPlanner.

  • Any work with Proof General.



So all in all, not bad for five days. However its all likely to go on a back-burner now since, as AB says, my proof planning work is a hobby these days. So whether I'll be able to build on the achievements is unclear.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Achieved:

  • Established that B. was well enough to get G. to school and can now walk without crutches. Re-assured that they won't starve before I get back I have stuck by my original plan to return home tomorrow evening.

  • Talked to DA. This involved installing yet another version of emacs, a new version of proof general, three new versions of Isabelle and a new version of IsaPlanner and then patching the preferred configuration. Just got an email from DA asking rather plaintively if we could actually discuss research tomorrow rather than installation issues.

  • Got IsaPlanner to perform a middle-out reasoning proof, but did this interactively and revealed a nice big search space. Agreed that since middle-out reasoning is a major part of MJo's thesis project she would look at the implications of handling the search space and I would carry on in interactive mode.

  • Went to a talk on parallelising Computer Algebra - this won me a free lunch.

  • Wrote a draft Blue book note on proof specification languages.



To Do:

  • Integrate middle-out reasoning proof with a critic.

  • Finish Blue book note.

  • Get taken to dinner by group.

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