[-empyre-] continued discussion between John Klima and Bill Seaman - part 2

>>2) Will real time natural language processing
>>and multi-modal search algorithms aid in this
>>new form of writing?

>Maybe. The problem of generative narrative is
>not one of a "search" in the google sense of the
>word - it's more a problem of association and
>influence than of criteria (I think). Also, the
>technical demands of a multi-model search such
>as: "Find all pictures that look like this
>picture that also relate to Paris Hilton" is a
>daunting one indeed. First you need to
>patern-match on the image data itself, then sift
>through the meta-data if there is any, and then
>you need figure out if the user means the hotel
>in the city of Paris, or the celebrity. In a
>case like Paris Hilton, the search mechanism
>needs to know the searcher well enough
>(back-propagation) to be reasonable sure they
>mean the hotel, but then what if, in this case,
>the searcher really wants the celebrity? And
>then there's the fact that Paris Hilton is the
>heiress to the Hilton hotel fortune, making the
>agent decision's muddier and muddier. My guess
>is that usable generative narrative tools will
>exist prior to an adequate and generally
>applicable resolution to the Paris Hilton
>problem (though perhaps I underestimate the
>gains in the field thus far).

I think there are many gains in the field. I
think it is also up to us to create the field, to
articulate the delicate nature of meaning
production and point at the slippery nature of

I am currently working with the programmer David
Durand on a new kind of multi-modal relational
database. Many of these questions will be
addressed in this project. Funding becomes a
problem --- who want to fund such problematic
ventures that need someone to keep chipping away
at the potentials?

In speaking with Otto Rössler, we spoke often of
analogy as a means of bringing together different
ideas. How might an analogy generator function?

...And history of context informs current
context... The question is --- if we are
computers, what is it that we do to make such
distinctions? Can we devise bio-memetic systems
that become high level generative tools? You
mention learning machines --- I believe this in
part will become central to this new form of tool.

>In my research, i'm not really considering
>multi-modal searches per-see, as the knowledge
>base for my domain does not exist as variable
>media. Though the elements are multiple, the
>modalities are singular. I have one general
>abstraction that applies to the varied elements
>in the domain. In other words, I'm in complete
>control of my data sources and formats and can
>unify them under an umbrella abstraction that
>makes a multi-modal search unneccessary. Also,
>as I am in control of the abstraction, I'm not
>so burdened with the need to decipher the
>language of the questions.

There are very powerful means of search under the
roof where you are operating. Yet, we are on the
cusp of new kinds of search that might enable us
to "search for a line in a movie we once saw:" or
an image we describe, or a fragment of music that
has particular qualities. Also I am imaging
physical space and digital space to be a
continuum, so one could also find and articulate
a series of physical/digital attributes and
overlay them serving writing production in
augmented reality and mixed reality.

>>3) Will real time employment of code
>>constructions find related information as we
>>speak and present it to us as an alternate mode
>>of association?
>I think this will occur by accident as much as by design.

Yes, but I imagine the brain also works this way...

>>4) Will code-based authorship alter all
>>authorship as we know it (see John's game
>>perspective)(remembering Wittgenstein's
>>language games)and open out writing to entirely
>>new modes of narrative and non-narrative

>Just as painting has exhibited influences from
>digital imagery, undoubtably traditional authors
>will be influenced by digital writing. we may
>even consider the techniques of authors such as
>Burroughs (and others), as pre-sages to early
>results from generative authorships. What
>generative authorships need to automate, in a
>sense, is the intuitive filtering mechanisms
>that Burroughs applied to random gobbledy-gook,
>to extract something poetic.

Yes - this is in part the challenge. Deep
biological questions related to sentience / The
Hard Problem  (Defining new approaches to Strong
What is at operation in our biological/physical
functionality that enables sentience to arise in
terms of the following---
[[these definitions were taken from dictionary.com]]


1: a concept or idea not associated with any
specific instance; "he loved her only in the
abstract--not in person" [syn: abstract] 2: the
act of withdrawing or removing something 3: the
process of formulating general concepts by
abstracting common properties of instances [syn:
generalization, generalisation] 4: an abstract
painting 5: preoccupation with something to the
exclusion of all else [syn: abstractedness] 6: a
general concept formed by extracting common
features from specific examples

a       The act or process of deriving logical
conclusions from premises           known or
assumed to be true.

b        The act of reasoning from factual knowledge or evidence.

a        Something inferred.
b       Usage Problem. A hint or suggestion


1 The drawing of a conclusion by reasoning; the act of deducing.
2       Logic.

a       The process of reasoning in which a
conclusion follows necessarily from the stated
premises; inference by reasoning from the general
to the specific.

b        A conclusion reached by this process.


<logic> The process of inference to the best explanation.

 "Abduction" is sometimes used to mean just the generation of
 hypotheses to explain observations or conclusionsm, but the
 former definition is more common both in philosophy and

 The semantics and the implementation of abduction cannot be
 reduced to those for deduction, as explanation cannot be
 reduced to implication.

 Applications include fault diagnosis, plan formation and
default reasoning.


a       The process of deriving general
principles from particular facts or instances.
b        A conclusion reached by this process.


1        A connection of persons, things, or
ideas by some common factor; union.
2        A functional connection of two ideas,
events, or psychological phenomena established
through learning or experience.

Pattern recognition,


a       The act or faculty of knowing or sensing
without the use of rational processes; immediate
cognition. See Synonyms at reason.
b        Knowledge gained by the use of this faculty; a perceptive insight.

2        A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.

How can one generate a device that emulates the
above set of human thought processes? How can we
make a tool that is user friendly that embodies
these processes central to knowledge production?

>>5) Will generative tool kits based on object
>>based programming alter language use as we know

>Absolutely. I can attest that my 20+ years
>working with code has influenced the way I think
>and speak. Oddly, I often find the "acceptable"
>grammar of english inadequate for describing
>certain concepts, and wish i could just speak
>code. This is not surprising, as Leibniz and
>Newton invented symbolic languages to
>communicate the ideas of the Calculus (ahh those
>were the days).

There is a wonderful book that traces from the
memory theatre to code production --- Martin
Logic Diagrams...

>>6) And will we create sentient entities that
>>can write for themselves (generate pattern
>>flows with a particular depth of contextual
>>understanding)? (a subsection of Seaman's and
>>Rössler's goals)?

>Absolutely, That is exactly what I'm working
>towards. I'm trying to create a system where a
>game bot could potentially:
>  1. eat a bad burrito
>  2. perform poorly in a critical situation.
>  3. conclude with relative certainty that the
>burrito is at fault (and not the grime on his +3
>ring of fabulousness).
>  4. complain about it.
>  5. (very important) Not eat from that taco truck in the future.

I like how you place the deeply intellectual into
a context of the deeply pragmatic. Thanks for
your thoughts above.

chipping away...


Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department  Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966


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