In order to have perceptual/conceptual similarity, it might make sense that
there is distance metric over conceptual spaces mapping (ala Gardenfors or
something like this theory)  underlying how the experience of reasoning
through is carried out.  This has the advantage of being motivated by
neuroscience findings (which are seldom convincing, but in this case it is
basic solid neuroscience research) that there are topographic maps in the
brain.  Since these conceptual spaces that structure sensorimotor
expectation/prediction (including in higher order embodied exploration of
concepts I think) are multidimensional spaces, it seems likely that some
kind of neural computation over these spaces must occur, though I wonder
what it actually would be in terms of neurons, (and if that matters).

But that is different from what would be considered quantitative reasoning,
because from the phenomenological perspective the person is training
sensorimotor expectations by perceiving and doing.  And creative conceptual
shifts (or recognition of novel perceptual categories) can also be explained
by this feedback between trained topographic maps and embodied interaction
with environment (experienced at the ecological level as sensorimotor
expectations (driven by neural maps). Sensorimotor expectation is the basis
of dynamics of perception and coceptualization).

On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 7:24 PM, Ben Goertzel <> wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 7:09 PM, Steve Richfield <
>> wrote:
>> Ben,
>> On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Ben Goertzel <> wrote:
>>>  know what dimensional analysis is, but it would be great if you could
>>> give an example of how it's useful for everyday commonsense reasoning such
>>> as, say, a service robot might need to do to figure out how to clean a
>>> house...
>> How much detergent will it need to clean the floors? Hmmm, we need to know
>> ounces. We have the length and width of the floor, and the bottle says to
>> use 1 oz/M^2. How could we manipulate two M-dimensioned quantities and 1
>> oz/M^2 dimensioned quantity to get oz? The only way would seem to be to
>> multiply all three numbers together to get ounces. This WITHOUT
>> "understanding" things like surface area, utilization, etc.
> I think that the El Salvadorean maids who come to clean my house
> occasionally, solve this problem without any dimensional analysis or any
> quantitative reasoning at all...
> Probably they solve it based on nearest-neighbor matching against past
> experiences cleaning other dirty floors with water in similarly sized and
> shaped buckets...
> -- ben g
>    *agi* | Archives <>
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