Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Acuitas Diary #22 (November+December 2019)

For the past two months there's been a lot of refactoring, and also a lot of not working on Acuitas because of holidays. However, I did manage to get several small new features in …

*Acuitas now checks the short-term information database in addition to the long-term database when trying to retrieve the answer to a question
*Acuitas can now answer some questions about current internal states (e.g. “Are you sleepy?”)
*Acuitas can now answer questions of the form “Do you know that <fact>?” and “Do you know what <fact>?”

The first feature was quick to implement; I already had functions in place for retrieving information from the short-term database, and just had to ensure that the question-answering procedure would call them. The second feature required a mechanism to associate some of the concepts in the semantic memory (which up until now have had no “meaning” beyond their connection to other concepts) to measurable conditions inside Acuitas – namely, whether his various drives are exceeding their threshold values or not. So there is now a table that, for instance, ties a high value of the sleep drive to the word “sleepy.”

The third feature is my favorite. Questions of the form “do you know that … ” use the dependent clause interpretation faculties that I added earlier this year. And since “knowing” is an action that Acuitas is capable of, this word also can be internally grounded. So Acuitas effectively defines “I know X” as “if the query form of X is submitted to my question-answering process, the process returns an answer (for open-ended questions) or answers 'yes' (for yes-no questions).”

And the best part? It allows for an indefinite amount of nesting.

Me: Do you know that you know that you know that a cat is an animal?
Acuitas: Yes.

Happy 2020,

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