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Chaordic knowledge production: A systems-based response to critical education

teorie_vedy.PNGAh, yes… now for a moment of shameless displays of pride and self-promotion ! Desk copies of my “Chaordic knowledge production: A systems-based response to critical education” article, published in Theory of Science vol. XV/XXVIII/2006, no. 3, pp. 149-162, arrived last week.

Drop me a line if you’d like a PDF of the scanned article!

Abstract

Proponents of critical education and critical pedagogy call on us to question the “oppressor vs. oppressed” relationships that the global mainstream “banking” system of education enforces (see esp. Freire, 2000). This practice produces learners that do not have the knowledge and skills to solve their own problems and maximize their individual potential. Systems thinking is the contextual analysis of an organization or process as a whole (Capra, 1996, p. 30; von Bertalanffy, 1968). A future-oriented, systems approach to the examination and redesign of critical education theory yields a chaordic, coconstructivist metatheory that maximizes each individual’s ontological potential. By building upon an example that employs automated information technology as a mediator in a coconstructivist system, this paper suggests that not only are coconstructivist critical knowledge systems plausible, but the design of the systems themselves need not be designed complexly to exhibit complex, transformative behavior.

What happened to Thinking Machines?

Technology Review has an interview with Danny Hills, cofounder of Thinking Machines. In the 1980’s the company sought to develop the world’s first real artificial intelligence. They failed. Why?

We look to our own minds and watch our patterns of conscious thought, reasoning, planning, and making analogies, and we think, “That’s thinking.” Actually, it’s just the tip of a very deep iceberg. When early AI researchers began, they assumed that hard problems were things like playing chess and passing calculus exams. That stuff turned out to be easy. But the types of thinking that seemed effortless, like recognizing a face or noticing what is important in a story, turned out to be very, very hard.

Read the entire interview…

Presentations on Artificial General Intelligence available

From KurzweilAI.net:

Abstracts and PowerPoints are now available online for the Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute’s (AGIRI) first workshop, May 20-21.

The workshop looked at breaking AI technologies out of specific, task-oriented functions into a more general form. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) development takes a transdisciplinary, systems-oriented design perspective with the ultimate goal of creating an intelligence that resembles, or supasses, human intelligence.

Cyber society

From the IST program:

If computers could create a society, what kind of world would they make? Thanks to the work of an ambitious project that adds a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘computer society’, in which millions of software agents will potentially evolve their own culture, we could be about to find out.

With funding from the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) initiative of the IST programme, five European research institutes are collaborating on the NEW TIES project to create a thoroughly 21st-century brave new world – one populated by randomly generated software beings, capable of developing their own language and culture.

Read the full article.

Computers that innovate

The April 2006 issue of Popular Science reports that John Koza’s:

1,000 networked computers don’t just follow a preordained routine. They create, growing new and unexpected designs out of the most basic code. They are computers that innovate, that find solutions not only equal to but better than the best work of expert humans. His “invention machine,” as he likes to call it, has even earned a U.S. patent for developing a system to make factories more efficient, one of the first intellectual-property protections ever granted to a nonhuman designer.

Using evolutionary algorithms, Koza’s machine is able to produce technological improvements without violating patents filed by others. In the near future, this technology may have an impact on creative processes:

The machine has inspired a new way to think about our own creative process: Perhaps extraordinary thinking is simply the product of gradual refinements and serendipitous recombinations. Darwin’s combination of mutation, sex and selection creates not just new species, or antennas: It spawns creativity itself.

Koza’s computers show a promise of contributing to an innovation-based society, but can they outperform humans?

Ottawa Business Journal: Googlemania in 2006

The Ottawa Business Journal reports that Google,

is poised to replace email as the most-used digital thanks to higher-speed connections and the ever-growing mountain of digital data. The company predicts the scope of search, while still based on text-based key words, will expand to include digital data held on devices such as PCs, mobile phones, digital cameras and personal video recorders.

And,

Deloitte also sees significant improvements in the linkage between humans and technology. Natural language speech recognition and voice synthesis will likely be combined with basic artificial intelligence offering a wide range of new services, the company says.

Link to the original article.

FCW: Government 2.0

From FCW.com: Eggers: Government 2.0

Students can now get personally tailored education without attending special schools or classes. It’s even possible to eliminate much of the guesswork involved in deciding which learning approach works best for each student. Using artificial intelligence, the computer can adapt to the pace, complexity and direction of the learning experience according to each child’s learning style and attention span. Children in the same classroom could learn different things in different ways at the same time.

Eggers writes that governments need to look to technology to transform their structures to operate more competitively and efficiently. Markets can change overnight, but governments, by design, cannot. Should they?

Cyc to be unleashed onto the Internet

Certain elements of the blogosphere are abuzz with news that Austin, TX’s Cycorp is about to release an AI, “Cyc,” on the Internet. With a mission to learn and build its knowledge, it will accelerate its new knowledge acquisition by interacting with netizens and siphoning multimedia information on the Web.

In a New Scientist article on the release, Justin Mullins writes, “one of Cyc’s most impressive features is the quality of the deductions it can make about things it has never learned about directly. For example, it can tell whether two animals are related without having been programmed with the explicit relationship between each animal we know of.” At the moment, Cyc does not contain the knowledge base to provide answers to interact with others in a meaningful manner. In three to five years, however, its creators predict that it will.