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Behaviours, Day-Dreams, Plans and Consciousness. Jim Doran University of Essex. I’m just a. Customer with a Few Suggestions. Customer domain:. Using multiple agent based social (ABS) modelling on a computer (aka ABSS, MABS) to investigate social problems and phenomena.

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behaviours day dreams plans and consciousness

Behaviours, Day-Dreams, Plans and Consciousness

Jim Doran

University of Essex

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide2

I’m just a

Customer

with a

Few Suggestions

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

customer domain
Customer domain:

Using multiple agent based social (ABS) modelling on a computer (aka ABSS, MABS) to investigate social problems and phenomena

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

a good abs model has
A good ABS Model has:
  • A Simulated Physical/Social Environment
  • containing multiple Software Agents

(which need to be cognitively complex?)

  • at a suitable Level of Abstraction providing
  • reliable Modelling Validity
  • for some domain of investigation

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide5
Alas …..

Our ability to design and implement “complex” software agents is very limited indeed

This matters!

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

types of agent architecture
Types of agent architecture:
  • ANN based
  • C-A Rule based
  • Blackboard
  • BDI (Planner based)
  • Hybrid and/or Multi-Layer
  • Robotic
  • “Fuzzy” controller

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

an application
An Application:

Modelling of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, with a view to assessing strategies and counter-strategies.

For example ………

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

a conjecture
A Conjecture

"Granted mobility, security (in the form of denying targets to the enemy), time and doctrine (the idea to convert every subject to friendliness) victory will rest with the insurgents, for the algebraical factors are in the end decisive, and against them perfections of means and spirit struggle quite in vain.

T.E.Lawrence

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., 1929, Vol 10, p 953

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide9
Note….

…..the importance of ideas and belief systems. For example, in the guerrilla warfare domain, what insurgents and counter-insurgent believe and feel about themselves, one another, and the world around them can be crucial.

It follows that agents in a valid model must be able to “believe” and collectively so.

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

in this context abs modelling questions about consciousness that need answers are
In this context (ABS Modelling), questions about consciousness that need answersare:
  • Can a software agent be conscious?

(Subjective awareness?

Integrated self-model?

Have or acquire information ?)

  • Can a software agent in an ABS model be conscious?
  • If so, are ABS models potentially more “powerful” if the agents within them are made conscious?

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

towards answers consciousness
Towards answers…….Consciousness

Am I conscious?

Why do I believe that Aaron is conscious?

Is a necessary condition for a “conscious” machine that it be “intelligent” in the AI sense?

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

two suggestions
Two suggestions:

Design for “emergence”!

+

Solve an “intelligent survival” problem!(try to forget about the brain!)

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

emergent properties
Emergent Properties

Consequences of a set of assumptions or specifications which are “non-obvious” and which are naturally characterised by a concepts “macro” to those in terms of which the assumptions or specifications are formulated.

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

design for emergence
Design for Emergence

Put together a few relatively simple design elements in such a way that desired complex functionalities (e.g. cognitive) “emerge” without further specification.

This might seem to make the design task much more difficult! But maybe some of the high level stuff that seems hard to design comes for free!

One attempt ………

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

a start point compare
A start point – compare:

Simple Repetition --of a previous pattern of actions

Behaviour –an established andcoherent set of situation-action combinations that achieves one or more requirements

Episodic memory –projection of a previous combination of action, events and situations

Plan –projected pattern of actions, with associated situations and events, that (seemingly) achieves a requirement

Day-dream (& Dream) –semi-arbitrary projection of pattern of actions with associated situations and events

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide16

A Random Input/Output Network

OUT

IN

What interpretations might be supported?

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

a set of design elements
A set of “design elements”
  • Initially random network with designated (sensory) input and (action) output
  • Pre-set network sub-structure (sub-areas and “projections” between them)
  • Specification of AN units
  • Inbuilt processes of self-adjustment
  • Environmental properties: generating input
  • Imposed training regime: forcing certain outputs in certain circumstances

To be used to solve…

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

an intelligent survival problem
An “Intelligent Survival” Problem

Assemble instantiations of the design elements to yield an agent which can act to survive as follows:

-- utilise and discriminate all sensory input as needed including past sensory input

-- be "efficient" incl. discovery and use of generalisations

-- "recognise" perceptual patterning corresponding to instances of external entities/processes which have multiple perceptual signatures [this implies building internal model(s) potentially incorporating self model]

-- use temporal projection. It's efficient to work out what to do in situations only when those situations actually arise, and this implies projection.

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

bb6 is
BB6 is …

…an existing C program that is an attempt to obtain S-A reactivity, behaviours, episodic memory, planning and plan execution from a relatively unstructured network of adaptive AN style units controlling an agent in a very simple simulated environment.

(Compare Gianluca Baldassarre’s work)

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide20

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BB6 in its environment

BB6 (“>”) can move, can sense its local environment and must consume food (“F”) and water (“W”) which renew periodically.

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide21

Short term Memory (Representations)

Short term Memory (Representations)

Sensory Input

Representations

Representations

Action units

Reaction Module

Actions

Projection Module

BB6

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

weight adjustment
Weight adjustment

Co-activation leads to connection – with choice of representation emergent

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

but too much of the bb6 structure seems hacky
But too much of the BB6 structure seems “hacky”

Two types of activity

Forward is DF, but backward BF

Clocking

Double thresholds

Non-random mappings

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

slide24
And……
  • importantly we’re missing:
  • representations by unit clusters, with consequent flexibility
  • reflexivity

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

which notions of consciousness if any does bb already or potentially exhibit
Which notions of consciousness, if any, does BB already or potentially exhibit?

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003

recap
Recap

Can/should ABS software agents be conscious?

Is “design for emergence” useful ?

JED MOC Birmingham 9. 2003