More Soul, More Youthful Thinking and More Thinking Among Machines

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What is artificial intuition?

How can it be developed?

What if machines not only learn like children but also think like children?

What would happen if machines started to think together?

Bill Gates has suggested that robots should be taxed and that the money should be used to pay the people who have lost their jobs to robots. On the one hand, it makes sense to suggest that if robots will be depriving humans of work, then the company should simply pay tax for using their skills, and the money should be put into supporting the rest of society.  He also believes that certain jobs cannot be replaced by robots such as nurses and teachers.

Yet, perhaps we are just simply missing the point with using AI – Artifcial Intelligence. Perhaps AI offers a spark to kickstart a new way of building a society. A new way to ensure that everyone has a roof over their head and food on the table. New ideas are needed rather a simple application of the old practices.

The same thing could perhaps also be said about the way we think about machines and the way we design robots. If we look at perhaps the most transforming part of human history it is that we are not relying on individual thinking. Instead, the collaborative and collective thinking is one of driving forces behind our remarkable progress.

So perhaps we should focus on what potential there are among machines rather than within machines.

Moreover, the focus is often on building machines that can deal with increasingly higher volumes of data. Yet, to explore ideas such as building artificial intuition, may require that we instead look into ways that machines that use as little data as possible. Thin-slicing is a powerful concept. Designing machines that can improvise, without a script or a plot and react to new environments require new ways to approach the way we think about AI.

What if several machines could be connected to work intuitively on little information? Perhaps a solution could not be found by using this approach but maybe new insights and ways to approach a problem would emerge.

Children are the best learners. Developmental cognitive scientists and computer scientists have been working together to figure out how young children can learn so much so quickly. A problem with AI is that it has been very difficult to predict what aspects that would be most difficult to solve. Problems such as how to play chess and to detect statistical pattern have turned out to be fairly easy task to solve – admittedly. they could still be improved upon. Yet, a limited generalise can only be achieved from statistical learning, this is regardless of whether you are a child, an adult or a computer.

Children are often good at inventing new concepts and often their thinking is non-conventional – out-of-the box thinking. They link ideas and say things that do not make sense. Creating machines that could create new concepts and explore hypotheses that are not obvious could, just like listening to children, result in new insights.

What if you could transform the way we build AI? What would you do?

(Suggestion, read our other posts about intuition…..)

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Feelings Are An Asset To Thinking

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Many people have the opinion that feelings distract thinking, and the best is to get rid of them.
We came across a view from Dennis Perrin who in contrast states: “Feelings are an asset to thinking”.
 
Dennis Perrin is running Thinking Training in the UK, providing courses in Lateral thinking, Six Thinking Hats and the Power of Perception.
We invited him to explore his idea that takes into account feelings that will improve your thinking. Here is his short essay on the topic.
 

Feelings are more important than thinking. In the end, thinking is for human happiness, projects, improvements, and ideas that create benefits. So, feelings have a very important place in thinking. This is why Dr de Bono created the Red Hat, a Hat specially for feelings, emotion, intuition, hunches, and yes, ideas.

Years ago, I used to think that the more emotional I was, the more likely it would be that God would answer a prayer. Children know that by crying or raising a tantrum, that their parents will then see to their needs. I remember at age 16 praying desperately for an answer to a decision I had to make: a choice between jobs. Even so, there is still the psychological element that works in prayer. The feelings are made clear. When the feelings are clear, the way is also clear for good and better thinking.

We need to make a habit, from time to time, to note our feelings on an issue. We don’t want our feelings either to dominate our thinking or to masquerade as our only thinking. We want our feelings clear as feelings (intuition etc.) only. For instance, let’s say a particular FB Post makes someone feel angry. The angry response can be posted under the Red Hat. Then some relevant factors (white hat) can be thought about. Or a post can simply say: These are my feelings. (Just state them.)

But don’t spend more than 30 seconds on just feelings.

Feelings are a hindrance if they are not stated clearly as a legitimate part of the thinking. They are also a hindrance if they are allowed to dominate any proceedings.

Feelings are an asset once they are stated since everyone then knows what they are. They are an asset when they are stated because further down the road in the thinking process the feelings can be looked at again. After some thinking, feelings often change. New perceptions change feelings.

Feelings should be looked at from time to time as a measurement. A typical Red Hat (feeling) response might be: “An hour ago I felt annoyed but after this thinking I feel happy.” Or: “My red hat tells me that I should think seriously about this issue before I make a final decision. I may want to change everything.”

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Thank you, Dennis!

 
 

Double Bind

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In earlier posts “Contradictions and Aggression” and “Don’t Think You Can Think” part 1 and part 2 we did some thinking about contradictions, dilemma’s and paradoxes. A special case of these are double binds.

A double bind exists when

  • an impossible ultimatum is put forward (either/or, however, both alternatives are unacceptable)
  • two directives are in conflict (be spontaneous)
  • two conflicting messages (you are absolutely fantastic, but you have to change your behavior)
  • double bind questions (do you still beat your wife?)
  • conflict between words and actual behavior (yes, I drink too much)

Essentially, a double bind is a form of unconscious control or exerting tacit power.

Elizabeth Davids offers four strategies to reduce  feelings of confusion and being trapped in a situation where you can only lose.

  1. Look at the bigger picture
  2. Don’t introvert
  3. This is not my game
  4. Look for a third option

Actually, she mentions a fifth strategy, the reverse double bind or counter paradox, which we will explore in another blog post.

Contradictions and Agression – Thinkibility Boost

Ever had an undefined feeling that something is wrong? That there is something  that does not make sense but “you can’t put the finger on it”?  You have this tingling feeling but you can’t point to exactly what it is. . . yet you know that there is “something”. It’s intangible knowledge or understanding, and you are not able to ‘touch’ the intuition that supports the understanding. Look at this:

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Ten to one a contradiction might be involved. A contradiction is something that is opposite or very different in meaning to something else. Or there is a difference or disagreement between two things which means that both cannot be true.  Or someone is doing things that could not be interpreted unequivocally, because it could mean different, contradicting things. Or things are said that could not be “true” and “not true” at the same time. They contradict each other.

 A contradiction could even lead to a double bind, which is a stressful situation where regardless of your response you will automatically be wrong. “Do you still beat your wife?” . If you say yes, you are a bastard. If you say no, you admit that you have beaten her before, so you are a bastard.

Because the meaning of the communication cannot be clearly understood, vague feelings of unhappiness, uneasiness and uncertainty could be provoked. You can even feel anger, resentment and frustration.  The body reacts to the unequivocal messages. Unfortunately, the underlying reason for these feelings and emotions  are unconscious.

We can use a range of strategies to dissolve cognitive dissonance but basically it comes down on avoiding or even ignoring contradicting situations and information. Often our bodily signals will be suppressed  in order to restore consistency, which can lead to  psychosomatic symptoms like headaches, heart attacks and back pains.

However, we suggest to give carefully attention to signals you body gives you if it is confronted with contradictions, however unconsciously those will be received. If suddenly experiencing angry, uneasiness, frustration or a bad feeling in your stomach, the following inconsistencies could have happen:

  • there is an inconsistency between verbal and non-verbal communication – someone says “yes” but nods “no”
  • there is a discrepancy in someone’s behavior  – someone says that he will come in time  but he doesn’t
  • there could be a contradiction between the content of a dialogue and the subtext (the content underneath the spoken dialogue). When we are talking or writing to someone  there can be conflict, angercompetitionpride, showing off, or other implicit ideas and emotions that  contradicts what is said. “Well done”, she said sarcastically.
  • nonsense and no-nonsense could have been used in the same phrase, as well logical and illogical arguments or a contradiction. “The situation is hopeless, but not serious”.
  • A paradox – a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true. “Don’t believe me, I am a liar”. A paradox may contain an non-executable order. “The barber is a man in town who shaves all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves.” However, this causes an impossibility for the barber, because who will shave him? On-going paradoxical messages could be ruined the development of mental health.  A mother has given her child two shirts, but when she wears one of the shirts, she says; “didn’t you like the other one?”. Or a female politician  who is encouraged to look beautiful and then is commented as being not a serious politician since she wears lipstick. There are many paradoxes like “any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane”. Catch-22 is a logical paradox where the creators have made up arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own abuse of power. In the works of Kafka also many examples of catch-22 situations can be found. A list of know paradoxes can be found here.

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In the picture above you see the Monty Hall problem, which steams from a situation that may occur on TV game shows. It is a type of probability  puzzle. What should you do?

“Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?”

Vos Savant’s response was:

“Yes; you should switch. The first door has a 1/3 chance of winning, but the second door has a 2/3 chance. Here’s a good way to visualize what happened. Suppose there are a million doors, and you pick door #1. Then the host, who knows what’s behind the doors and will always avoid the one with the prize, opens them all except door #777,777. You’d switch to that door pretty fast, wouldn’t you?”

  • Another contradiction presents itself as when there are two possibilities, neither of which is acceptable. A father to his son: “Will you forward or backwards climb the stair to go to bed?” This is called a dilemma.
  • There is a discrepancy between what is verbally said and what is implicitly said about the relation the messenger wants to establish or maintain. “Yes, sure, I love you”, he said while continuing waking towards  the fridge to get a beer.

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Contradictions, if not noticed, can lead to feelings of desperate powerlessness and furious destructive aggression.

However, contradictions, if not neglected, are powerful triggers to reflect on a situation and extract information from it. Attention to feelings and bodily signs are the clues to this.

Why I am so angry?

Why do I feel so uncertain of myself?

Where does  that aggression so suddenly come from?

There could be contradictions around!

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Blue Economy – Open Source Communities

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The Blue Economy uses an open source approach to encourage positive entrepreneurship.
Overall, the aim with Blue Economy is to transform the way we are thinking about the environment. Solutions should be sustainable and capable of responding to people’s need for food, water, energy  and health care.

When you want to create an open source community where ideas are shared and used, you do not want to restrict the freedom of using the ideas. Yet there may be cases where  the “open source attract attention of people who want to consider this as their exclusive opportunity even though all was shared open source without restrictions. The free download of ideas, experiences and know-how causes a few individuals to desire an exclusive money making scheme” (Gunter Pauli, 2013).

So if you do not want to restrict the use through license agreements, trademarks or franchise, what do you do? Gunter says that it does not make sense to focus on making money first and securing a job for oneself, instead creating jobs and value in the community is the main goal. And if the trust is misused, he suggests that instead of using a legal framework it is better to continue to use the open source framework and  to avoid using bad behaviorus to deal with a negative use of ideas and people involved in open source projects. The underlying idea is that justice in the end will be done.

Yet it is tempting to explore ways to if not prevent people from misusing open source materials and exploiting people at least to minimize the risk. The statistical risk for misuse might be small, but we should not underestimate the role of rare events. We want to identify where danger is most likely to occur.

Defining the problem is a necessary part in searching for solutions and  we should perhaps spend more time on framing the problem.

Frame for ideas:

  • develop trust while ensuring that ideas can be open source.
  • no legal framework that prevents the sharing of ideas
  • positive flow should be blocked
  • minimal cost involved in implementing the idea
  • protect ideas and people from being misused and exploited

Most approaches towards ensuring that people to not misuse ideas rests on the assumption that we have to prevent and stop people from behaving in a certain way. This assumption could be challenged and we could explore ideas that:

  • Encourage people to ensure the open source community of their good intentions – could lead to ideas such as people openly signing a declaration of their good intentions with using the idea. Could then minimise the risks of misuse by  exploring the intentions and behaviours of those who do not voluntarily sign any declaration. Identify high risk behaviours, such as ignoring all communication.
  • Support communication between people using the open source material.
  • Turn the attention to people buying the products – do you as a consumer buying material from people and open source ideas have any responsibility? This approach could lead to ideas such as using mobile phones to encourage people to support people using open source ideas and also report suspicious activities.

We could rephrase the problem and say that the people who misuse open source material are unaware of the main purpose with providing ideas that are free to use (exchange the word misuse with unaware)

  • Use storytelling to inform people about not only the idea but also about how open source material should be used. Comic strips, videos, mobile phones could be used to spread the message.

Another approach is to fly over the problem and look at the big issue. In this case, people cannot be trusted. This could lead to ideas such as:

  • We need to change people’s view of themselves and their value in the world. Provide material that enhances users of open source material confidence and self-esteem to ensure that they are developing skills that protects them from abuse.

Go here to read Justice will be Done by Gunter Pauli.

Photo: “Businessman Holding Business World” by SOMMAI

Sayings and Proverbs as Thinking Patterns – Thinkibility Nibble

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Many hands make light work?

Some examples of proverbs -something that is said as to be an expression of Truth are:

Other examples of sayings can be find here and here.

Sayings and proverbs are in a single sentence  condensed knowledge and experience. They  are easy to understand and to remember. Many of them are taught in schools, sayings and proverbs are easy to use and it is a great way to  communicate complex ideas.

However, we bet that you easily can argue that in some situations following the “Truth” of proverbs and sayings would lead to counterproductive and even disastrous results. There are often proverbs that contradict each other, such as “Look before you leap” and “He who hesitates is lost.” These have been labeled “counter proverbs

We have to conclude that sayings and proverbs are fundamentally logic bubbles or thinking patterns, which could be adequate in some circumstances and in other circumstances totally inadequate.

When using a saying or proverb, think about if the saying or proverb is conveying the right message in that specific situation. The same applies for using quotes the repetition of someone else’s statement or thoughts. For examples, see quoteshelp.

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“Learn till old, live till old, and there is still one-third not learned.

“It means that no matter how old you are, there is still more learning or studying left to do.

Physical Ticket Machine – Thinkibility Nibble

Moscow Subway Ticket Machine Accepts Physical Exercise As Payment

To promote exercise and the 2014 Olympics, Olympic Changes installed a very special ticket machine at the Moscow subway station. Instead of accepting money as payment, the high-tech ticket machine only accepts exercise. Riders could receive a free ticket by standing in front of the machine’s camera.

We think it is interesting. But why is it interesting? Why did it caught our attention?

By the way, what is the concept of interesting?

interestingThis map was made by using the Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus, an excellent tool for explore your thinking.

Suddenly we have fifteen focus area to reflect why a Physical Ticket Machine is interesting. And that could help you to bring the idea further. Could you come up with ideas to improve the concept? Other applications? Other ways to carry out the concept? Comparable concepts?

We would like to hear your suggestions but consult first with your patent office.

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