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Professing the Professor
Wednesday, 19 November 2008

My students, as most sane people do, enjoy reading comics that make jokes from their very own activity. Laughing at oneself helps keep the feet on the ground.

A very interesting place is PhDComics where PhD students can see themselves as-of-the-real-thing-is.

A recent comic analyses the very role of the professor: to profess.

I have been pondering around for some time, the nature of knowledge and in particular the nature of scientific knowledge. In the desire for a scientific approach to our dwelling in the world, I usually criticise religious positions as lacking any hint of reasonableness. Some of my believing colleagues tried to make a remark on this position: science is another form of religion.

Obviously it is not for any sensible definition or "religion" and "science"; but in any case, a question remains: is it necessary to have a minimal dose of unjustified belief to build a mind upon?

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 November 2008 )
 
On Women and Ghosts
Monday, 23 February 2009
I have recently been talking with some of my colleagues that are catholic believers in a desire to clarify some of the issues that they claim to believe. Unfortunately, I have failed in making them understand the absurdity of their beliefs and they have failed in making me believe in this stuff.

So I think it is the time for increasing boldness and give a stronger, more open word on the very nature of their beliefs.

Let's start today with a quote of the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO: THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
CHAPTER TWO: I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD
ARTICLE 3: "HE WAS CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY"
....
485 The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son. The Holy Spirit, "the Lord, the giver of Life", is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it, causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.
and a brief comment on this.

Catholics believe that ghosts -however holy- can make women pregnant.

Incredible :-O

Women .... Shiver!

Last Updated ( Monday, 23 February 2009 )
 
Principles for consciousness in integrated cognitive control
Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The article Principles for consciousness in integrated cognitive control by Ricardo Sanz, Ignacio López, Manuel Rodríguez and Carlos Hernández has been published in the journal Neural Networks

In this paper we will argue that given certain conditions for the evolution of biological controllers, they will necessarily evolve in the direction of incorporating consciousness capabilities. We will also see what are the necessary mechanics for the provision of these capabilities and extrapolate this vision to the world of artificial systems.

Full reference: Neural Networks 20 (2007) 938–946
DOI: j.neunet.2007.09.012
A preprint version can be downloaded here.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 November 2007 )
 
AAAI Workshop on AI and Consciousness
Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The AAAI Workshop on Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence: Theoretical foundations and current approaches took place at Washington DC on 8-11 November 2007.

We presented there the paper titled Self-awareness in Real-time Cognitive Control Architectures that was very well received.

In this paper we describe the approach taken in the UPM Autonomous Systems Laboratory for the development of technology of full, bounded autonomy. This effort is taking us into the study of the phenomenology of consciousness especially in relation with the construction of mechanisms for system self-awareness. The progress of this work can be tracked in our ASys and SOUL projects webpages. The ASys Project is a long-term project that deals with the development of an engineering process and a collection of assets for the implementation of autonomous systems . The SOUL Project develops a generic architecture for self- aware autonomous systems.

Get more info at the workshop website.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 November 2007 )
 
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