Welcome to my site!
Saturday, 12 June 2004

ImageThis is the website of Ricardo Sanz, professor in systems engineering and automatic control and researcher in the field of autonomous systems.

In this site you will find information regarding my activitiy as well as other sources that may be of interest to you. Feel free to explore the site and to suggest any improvement to it.

I do most of my activity as part of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory. ASLab is a research group of ample interests ranging from conventional control and real-time systems to model-based engineering processes and artificial intelligence.

This last is, indeed, my main topic of interest; or to be more precise, I'm interested in mind theory, both artificial and natural within the long term engineering objective of systematically creating better machines by means of improving their intelligence.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 February 2012 )
Emotions and the engineering of adaptiveness in complex systems
Thursday, 11 April 2013
M.G. Sánchez-Escribano & R. Sanz
INCOSE Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2014)

A major challenge when building complex and critical systems is the management of change in the system and in its operational environment. The increasing complexity forces autonomous systems to detect critical changes to avoid their progress towards undesirable states. We need new methods to build systems that can tune their adaptability protocols, transferring the control of uncertainty to their inner domain to strive for wellness. In essence, these are mechanisms to impose the fulfillment of system-wide wellness requirements to reduce the influence of the outer domain to be fully driven by the influence of the inner one. From the stance of cognitive systems, biological emotion suggests a strategy to configure value-based systems to use semantic self-representations of the state. A method inspired by emotion theories can causally connect the inner domain of the system and its objectives of wellness, focusing on dynamically adapting the system to avoid the progress of critical states. This method shall endow the system with a transversal mechanism to monitor its inner processes, detecting critical states and managing its adaptivity in order to maintain the wellness goals. The paper describes the current vision produced by this work-in-progress.

Emotions and the engineering of adaptiveness in complex systems. M.G. sanchez-Escribano & R. Sanz. INCOSE Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2014)

Draft paper @ ASLab

Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 January 2014 )
Bounded Recursive Self-Improvement
Thursday, 11 April 2013
E. Nivel, K. R. Thórisson, B. R. Steunebrink, H. Dindo, G. Pezzulo, M. Rodriguez, C. Hernandez, D. Ognibene, J. Schmidhuber, R. Sanz, H. P. Helgason, A. Chella, G. K. Jonsson
To appear (Submitted on 24 Dec 2013)

We have designed a machine that becomes increasingly better at behaving in underspecified circumstances, in a goal-directed way, on the job, by modeling itself and its environment as experience accumulates. Based on principles of autocatalysis, endogeny, and reflectivity, the work provides an architectural blueprint for constructing systems with high levels of operational autonomy in underspecified circumstances, starting from a small seed. Through value-driven dynamic priority scheduling controlling the parallel execution of a vast number of reasoning threads, the system achieves recursive self-improvement after it leaves the lab, within the boundaries imposed by its designers. A prototype system has been implemented and demonstrated to learn a complex real-world task, real-time multimodal dialogue with humans, by on-line observation. Our work presents solutions to several challenges that must be solved for achieving artificial general intelligence.

Bounded Recursive Self-Improvement. E. Nivel, K. R. Thórisson, B. R. Steunebrink, H. Dindo, G. Pezzulo, M. Rodriguez, C. Hernandez, D. Ognibene, J. Schmidhuber, R. Sanz, H. P. Helgason, A. Chella, G. K. Jonsson

Article @ arXiv

Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 December 2013 )
The Self Beyond Humans
Sunday, 12 May 2013
I will give a talk titled The Self Beyond Humans at Reykjavik University on May 16, 2013. The talk addresses the issue of the construction of the self from the perspective of machine consciousness.

Many current research trends point toward a technology of robot selfhood. The pursuit of selves for machines is motivated from a desire to equip robots with sophisticated human-like competences. Self and self-awareness constitute one of the cornerstones of consciousness, a whimsically peculiar aspect of our humanhood. While humans are the best "ground truth" we have in this respect, the best example to inspect and imitate, anthropomorphism is a procrustean path that shall be followed with care. Many attempts to create artificial selves are based on a shallow replication of biological behavioral traits; a true engineering technology of robot selves, however, must be based on a rigorous theory of consciousness, beyond humans.

A scientific, general theory of consciousness should be much more than just some “scientific progress towards understanding how consciousness can emerge form the activity of neurons and their interactions”. While the human brain is our best source of information about consciousness, the construction of a universal, general theory of consciousness is hampered by the almost absolute and excessive focus on the human brain, human cognition, and human neurophysiology. Human brains should not be the only systems we consider in work; a general theory should address at least the many other systems of interest: other kinds of animals, machines, and even social groups. In this talk I will address the emergence of a theoretical framework for Self Beyond Humans. This theoretical framework shall eventually lead to technological assets for robot selfhood to enable them to properly operate in ecological, medical, technical and economic terms in a variety of circumstances. A positive theory of self shall be centered on system functional architecture, sidetracking philosophical discussions on the nature of 'content and self' and leveraging the value of concrete topologies and measurements.

Future robots will have selves that may be enormously alien to humans; but, in a very precise sense, they will be quite similar to ours but with a deeper, purer essence, devoid of all that noise produced by biological evolution.

Get details at Reykjavik University website. Image

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 May 2013 )
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