RE: Chris McKinstry (1967-2006)

From: pdugan (
Date: Sat Jan 28 2006 - 11:07:26 MST

For the sake
>of completeness, I'll also note that while McKinstry started out wanting to
>apply hyperspace geometry to abstract state spaces (common enough, even in
>AI; see "VC dimension"), in his final year he became interested in the
>*physical* hyperspaces of string theory, where Hopf maps really have found
>some application, so evidently he started thinking about this space of
>representational states as being encoded in fundamental physical variables.
  Well we know that mental states are somehow encoded into electrical patterns
in the brain, that is in 3-space, but is the implication of his hypothesis
that the hyperspatial encoding of representation (such as our perception of
temporal causation) is somehow in analogy to the actual hyperspatility of
quantum strings? Hopf maps are primarily applied to sypersymettric models,
which suggests to me that McKinstry was trying to explore synchronic causation
from a cognitive perspective. I'm not smart or informed enough to comment on
whether or not thats quackery or daring genuis, but its a fascinating

>And how does this relate to his AI enterprise, the Mindpixel Project?
>Mindpixel had accumulated a list of thousands of propositions, the
>"mindpixels", which were to be a sample of the space of all possible
>thoughts, and indexed by a single parameter, consensus probability of truth.
>(He started using Google query probability as a ranking parameter at the
>end.) I think that eventually he wanted to devise a seven-dimensional
>indexing system as interface to his archive of mindpixels, along the lines
>of his brain theory, which would then be a component of an AGI.

  I think theres something to the parameter of consensus probability of truth,
and utilizing Google as a ranking parameter is an approach growing only more
robust. However, I get the feeling that while such an indexing system would
provide a lot of priors for the AGI to induce its own limited matrix of
understanding, there would still need to be an equally novel patterning system
to create a feedback loop of improvement. Otherwise it seems like it'd be just
a glorified data-base, and would suffer from most of the difficulites that
come from trying to reverse engineer aspects of the human brain.

  Still, too bad he killed himself, I'd like to have seen research in the
venue bear fruit.

  Patrick Dugan

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