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It has always been models Print E-mail
Sunday, 30 July 2017
There is a relatively recent boom on model-based X. Model-based development, model-based design, model-based systems engineering, ...

In all the domains of engineering, it looks like we have just discovered the use of models to support our work. But this is, obviously, false. It has always been models. All around. All the time.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 July 2017 )
Brautigan: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace 01 Print E-mail
Friday, 07 July 2017
Richard Brautigan

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.”

Poem from “Richard Brautigan's All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.”

Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 July 2017 )
John Markoff - Machines of Loving Grace Print E-mail
Friday, 07 July 2017
Far from the cybernetic meadow that Richard Brautigan saw in his poem All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace the intelligent machines that can merge with us are not yet here. In his book, Markoff -a technical journalist- tried to address the convergence of natural and artificial intelligence (hence the subtitle "The quest for common ground between humans and robots"). However, he failed. The book, while interesting reading, is a mere compilation of AI people's personal histories. The technical content is minimal and the distillation f the "common ground" is totally missing. However it is worth reading to see the ambient and economics of the AI community since its origins to the present day of Google's PageRank and Apple's Siri.


Machines of Loving Grace. The quest for common ground between humans and robots

John Markoff

Ecco - Harper Collins
378 pages


Value for time: 7

Main value: AI History; easy reading

Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 July 2017 )
Ontologies as Backbone of Cognitive Systems Engineering Print E-mail
Friday, 10 March 2017
Ricardo Sanz, Julita Bermejo, Juan Morago and Carlos Hernández
INCOSE Cognition And OntologieS (CAOS) 2017

Cognitive systems are starting to be deployed as appliances across the technological landscape of modern societies. The increasing availability of high performance computing platforms has opened an opportunity for statistics-based cognitive systems that per- form quite as humans in certain tasks that resisted the symbolic methods of classic artificial intelligence. Cognitive artefacts appear every day in the media, raising a wave of mild fear concerning artificial intelligence and its impact on society. These systems, performance notwithstanding, are quite brittle and their reduced dependability limits their potential for massive deployment in mission-critical applications —e.g. in autonomous driving or medical diagnosis. In this paper we explore the actual possibility of building cognitive systems using engineering-grade methods that can assure the satisfaction of strict requirements for their operation. The final conclusion will be that, besides the potential improvement provided by a rigorous engineering process, we are still in need of a solid theory —possibly the main outcome of cognitive science— that could sustain such endeavour. In this sense, we propose the use of formal ontologies as back- bones of cognitive systems engineering processes and workflows.

Ontologies as Backbone of Cognitive Systems Engineering. Ricardo Sanz, Julita Bermejo, Juan Morago and Carlos Hernández. AISB Symposium on Cognition And OntologieS (CAOS) 2017

Draft paper @ ASLab

Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 March 2017 )
C.J. Bond - Biology and the new physics Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 December 2015
The book Biology and the new physics : a plea for a consistent philosophy of life" by C. J. Bond contains an edited version of the address given by Bond at the Centenary Meeting of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society on 7th October, 1935. It contains an analysis of the impact that the recent discoveries in quantum physics concerning the question of determinism in physics would have on a theoretical biology founded upon a basement of physics. In essence it is an argumentarium to keep old thoughts on free will and the role of God in the creation of the universe. He does so by means of a vision about how the intrinsic indeterminacy of matter -as postulated by quantum mechanics, and seen as the source of mental freedom- is constrained by an environment that overimposes a deterministic behaviour.


Biology and the new physics : a plea for a consistent philosophy of life

Bond, Charles John,

H. K. Lewis & co. ltd., London
64 pages


Value for time: 6

Main value: Transdisciplinarity; foundations; big themes

Last Updated ( Monday, 28 December 2015 )
Buckminster Fuller - Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 January 2014
This is the written, elaborated version of a conference that Fuller gave to the American Planners Association. In this book he analyzes the technological history of humanity to reach the conclusion that the knowledge gained and the technological power so obtained lets us -forces us- to properly manage the earth as a large, self-supporting spaceship. The work is valuable reading due to the yet valid analysis concerning the nature of weatlh and the proper political methods to deal with it.


Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

R. Buckminster Fuller

Simon and Schuster
144 pages


Value for time: 6

Main value: Out-of-the-box

Robert Rosen - Anticipatory Systems Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 January 2014
In this book Robert Rosen tries to elaborate on the mathematical foundations of theoretical biology, trying to offer a framework that puts inner modelling at the core of anticipatory behaviour that is, for him, one of the keystones of living systems. The book was conceived in the 70s and was published for the first time in 1985. The 2nd edition -this one- is from 2012, with some additional content from his followers and his daughter. The book tries to be mathematical -Rosen was a mathematician-biologist- using category theory and dynamical systems to describe the way living systems relate to their environment -using a modelling relation-and can anticipate in it. In essence it claims for a new foundation for mathematical biology that transcends dynamical systems theory -claimed to be inefficacious- offering mechanisms for addressing biological complexity to formalise what he later called relational biology.


Anticipatory Systems; Philosophical, Mathematical, and Methodological Foundations, 2nd Ed.

Robert Rosen

472 pages


Value for time: 7

Main value: Transdisciplinarity; abstraction

Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 December 2014 )
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