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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 )
A mi me basta Print E-mail
Friday, 07 June 2013

A mí me basta
con poder hablarte,
escuchar tu voz,
el alma con la palabra;
sentir, de parte a parte,
que soy, que estoy,
que podré velarte.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 June 2013 )
The Self Beyond Humans Print E-mail
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 )
Ontology Engineering for the Autonomous Systems Domain Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 May 2013
We have a new book chapter on ontologies for autonomous systems.

The chapter Ontology Engineering for the Autonomous Systems Domain, by Julita Bermejo–Alonso, Ricardo Sanz, Manuel Rodríguez and Carlos Hernández has been published in the book Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management.

Ontologies provide a common conceptualisation that can be shared by all stakeholders in an engineering development process. They provide a good means to analyse the domain, allowing to separate descriptive from problem–solving knowledge. Our research programme on autonomous systems considered an ontology as the adequate mechanism to conceptualise the autonomous systems domain, and the software engineering techniques applied to such systems. This paper describes the ontological engineering process of such an ontology: OASys (Ontology for Autonomous Systems). Its development considered different stages: the specification of the requirements to be fulfilled by the ontology; the extraction of the actual features needed to implement the desired requirements; the conceptualisation phase with the design decisions to integrate the different domains, theories and techniques addressed by the ontological elements; and finally, the implementation of the ontology, which integrates both ontology engineering and software engineering approaches by using UML as the implementation language.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 May 2013 )
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