Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics and News Mar 29th

Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics and News
March 29th, 2013
1.) Topic is the upcoming AFRL commander’s seminar series – below is my
abstract –what I need from our AFRL colleagues is one slide and talking
point notes on the implication of what we are doing to your day jobs
within AFRL (Derriso – slide from the dissertation, Tsou – slide to capture
the recent autonomy proposal, Young – slide if you are interested in
aligning your recent proposal to a quest influence, Jared – a slide on maybe
you work in category theory as a theory for ATR?, Ox – a slide associated
with ongoing AFIT work, Trevor – maybe a sldie from you since we know
AFRL/CC is interested in fostering improved AFIT/AFRL connections?- or we
could make a single slide to capture the Birrer / Dube / Trevor work – Rome
confabulation slide, anyway my idea is the last part of the seminar will be a
discussion of these slides:
Qualia Exploitation of Sensing Technology (QUEST)
Presentation by Steve ‘Capt Amerika’ Rogers
AF Senior Scientist for Automatic Target Recognition and Sensor Fusion
Understanding intelligence is a classic problem that both engineers and
philosophers have considered. Great advances have been made in
generating non-trivial behavior by analyzing vast amounts of data (Data
Driven Artificial Intelligence, DDAI), powered by Statistical Learning,
Optimization and Pattern Analysis. Current solutions do not ‘understand’
the directions/advice they provide. What is the implication when they
recommend your next movie or book on Amazon? Natural intelligent
systems produce appropriate behavior as a result of interactions between
simple systems not just declarative knowledge.
An AFRL group has been conducting weekly seminars in an attempt to
define new innovative approaches in sensing based on solutions consisting
of two interactive systems (a subconscious and a conscious system). No
one knows what consciousness is, why we have it or how do biological
processes create it. The question the QUEST seminars address: ‘Are there
engineering characteristics of the interacting subconscious system and
consciousness that can be defined providing a framework for achieving
robustness in computer based sensor data processing?’
Intelligent agents can pursue their goals in complex environments by
making informed decisions and adapting to situations not directly specified
by the designer. We have termed this the ability to respond appropriately
to the ‘unexpected query’ and consider it necessary for autonomy.
Google and Amazon are examples of the nexus between Data Driven AI and
Interacting agents. Their power is the result of Data Driven AI AND their
ability to exploit ‘closed loop’ interactions with their environment.
Colonies of Ants or the systems of Google/Amazon consist of many
modules (agents) to generate the desired result. Many of the agents are
the traditional DDAI solutions (classifiers, clustering algorithms). It is the
integration into a SYSTEM AND the coupling of the resulting system with
the rich ENVIRONMENT that creates the intelligent behavior. Intelligent
behavior is a property of a system in an environment.
2.) A revisit to the tenets at the core of our theory of consciousness –
News Articles
1. Some links from Col. Ryer about a DARPA program on probabilistic
programming for advanced machine learning
DARPA Probabilistic Programming for Advanced Machine Learning
Proposers' Day (10 Apr)
A video recording of the PPAML Proposers' Day will be posted at
(after April
10, 2013):
2. Big Data
many experts predict that the next wave will be driven by
technologies that fly under the banner of Big Data — data including
Web pages, browsing habits, sensor signals, smartphone location
trails and genomic information, combined with clever software to
make sense of it all…Big Data, they say, will open the door to
making smarter decisions in every field from business and biology
to public health and energy conservation…“This data is a new asset,”
says Alex Pentland, a computational social scientist and director of
the Human Dynamics Lab at the M.I.T. “You want it to be liquid and
to be used.”… The report, “Unlocking the Value of Personal Data:
From Collection to Usage,” recommends a major shift in the focus of
regulation toward restricting the use of data. Curbs on the use of
personal data, combined with new technological options, can give
individuals control of their own information, according to the
report, while permitting important data assets to flow relatively
freely…The Fair Credit Reporting Act, passed in 1970, was the main
response to the mainframe privacy challenge. The law permitted
the collection of personal financial information by the credit
bureaus, but restricted its use mainly to three areas:
credit, insurance and employment…forum report suggests a
future in which all collected data would be tagged with software
code that included an individual’s preferences for how his or her
data is used…Kaiser Permanente, the large health care provider,
extols the benefits of its growing database on nine million patients,
tracking treatments and outcomes to improve care, especially in
managing costly chronic and debilitating conditions like heart
disease, diabetes and depression. New smartphone applications, he
says, promise further gains — for example, a person with a history of
depression whose movement patterns slowed sharply would get a
check-in call…Corporate executives and privacy experts agree that
the best way forward combines new rules and technology tools…Dr.
Pentland, an academic adviser to the World Economic Forum’s
initiatives on Big Data and personal data, agrees that limitations on
data collection still make sense, as long as they are flexible and not
a “sledgehammer that risks damaging the public good.”… espouses
what he calls “a new deal on data” with three basic tenets: you
have the right to possess your data, to control how it is used, and to
destroy or distribute it as you see fit…His M.I.T. group is developing
tools for controlling, storing and auditing flows of personal data. Its
data store is an open-source version, called openPDS. In theory, this
kind of technology would undermine the role of data brokers and,
perhaps, mitigate privacy risks. In the search for a deep fat fryer, for
example, an audit trail should detect unauthorized use…