Networks and consciousness

siennaredwoodIA et Robotique

23 févr. 2014 (il y a 8 années et 8 jours)

288 vue(s)

Networks and consciousness

Donald Steiny


Won’t even try to solve AI

More about problems than solutions

Introduce the idea of networks and how they
relate to some of the problems in this area


Review of behaviorism

Review of cognitive psychology

Review of systems and the AI paradigm

Discussion of relational thinking and networks

Examples of how networks lead to new

Some potential applications

Basic behavioral model

The idea

No such thing as cause and effect


Not a property of things.

Just a consequence of repeated observations

A matter of faith

the fallacy of induction

The solution?

Scientific laws are based on repeated observation

Psychology could become “scientific.”

But …

It is not possible to recognize a balanced set of
symbols without memory.


It is, however, possible to precisely describe the
memory required by push down store automata,
which lead to computer languages like C and

This lead to “mental processes” and cognitive


Shannon and Weaver

Formulation of information and redundancy

Norbert Weiner




Representation of everything as symbols and a
complete science of symbols

And in economics

Revealed preferences

Failure of micro explanations


and Williamson

Behavioral explanations

Bounded rationality (Simon)

Heuristics and biases (

Still at dyad level

Macro structures are epiphenomena



Have inputs and outputs

They transform their inputs

They have a boundary

They have subsystems

They are part of a larger systems

Inputs/Outputs can be viewed as symbols

But …

Symbols are always dependent on context.
What Bateson called a frame was extensively
developed by Erving

He’s a student

ASCII interpreted as EBCDIC

Over in sociology land

Harvard Department of Social Relations



Functionalist sociology

The dream of a unified paradigm

Harrison White

Network sociology

Methods that assume heterogeneity

The middle range of action

Atomic Actors

Where is action located?

What is space?

Cartesian space locates action at a point




Atomic theories

Rational action

Systems theory

Relational View

boys and girls

Networks as spaces

Analogy: each of are members of multiple

This is similar to an n
dimensional space, the
difference being that any point can be in an
arbitrary intersection of dimensions.

Over time the configuration of dimensions
switches so points are generally not in a fixed
set of dimensions.


Each network provides a frame of reference

Different things are salient in each network.

Structural equivalence

Advice leaders

Expressive leader

Is the dot at the front or back?

What is a person?

When you talk to me who are you talking to?

My immortal soul?

My lips?

A story you tell yourself?

Folk psychology
is key

Is an action mine or your interpretation of it?
How could we know? How could we remember?

“a god” existing at the confluence of networks.


Holds us together across identities

Helps choose our stories or actions

Persons are styles


Bill Clinton


Sets the tone for our actions

What about a company?

Or a country or “big business” or anything that
causes things.

Back to the old problem that behaviorism had

These live in our heads so the same problem
of making repeated observations about
people applies to larger structures

Social roles

Preexisting (structure)

Fairly fixed

Live in everyone’s heads

Held in place
by control.

Stories and accountings

We account for, explain what we observe

The swinging rope

Hume’s cause

Wittgenstein’s intention

Standard sets of stories are both guides for
action explanations


We are tied together into networks by these

Common sense is an underlying accounting

Our location

Is point of view

Determines what we can access as

Is affected by control pressures from others
(our interpretations are in the light of others)

Social networking

New security models use networks:
Granovetter diagrams

We have multiple identities, seeing it on line
makes it salient

Facebook security model problem

Assumes single identity

Culture and meaning

Culture is the set of available accountings and
the control effort to adopt it.

Meaning is carried across network domains as
we go from pointing.

A source of


Like situated cognition (Hutchens)

The way we work together

Very hard to see, no ties

Influenced by style

Chinese making a company

Finns making a company

Silicon Valley making a company

Source of stories and accountings (ties)

The problem of action

Magical thinking

Fundamental Attribution Error

The great man hypothesis

Creativity and innovation as combinations of
borrowing and salience

Accountings and stories

Beliefs and values are explanations, not causes

How does this relate to AI

The problem is more complex than it is made
out to be

Reducing reality to symbols won’t work