Living Patterns: How Data Drives Your Day (FORTHCOMING 2024/25)


I was two, two maybe three.

Outside the grocery store one ordinary afternoon, I felt the warm sunlight reflecting from the red brick wall sweeping across my face. I instinctively reached out to touch the bricks, and my fingers warmed up too!

I soon started stringing moments like this together and recognizing some basic patterns, like faces.

This is what I call ideology - the process of receiving information, committing it to memory and then arriving at an understanding about the information we have stored. It's a process similar to retrospective decryption in quantum information theory.

In Living Patterns we won't limit the term 'ideology' to abstract things like 'liberalism', 'conservatism' or 'communism', we will use a conceptual model of ideology. It is like an algorithm to help reach an understanding, but without having to 'unlock' every piece of information!

I can think of many applications for the model we are going to be using. Education, health and social care, business, politics, art, research and so forth are all good candidates, but I think one of the most interesting applications for me is technology, and in particular Artificial Intelligence, (AI).

Talking at a recent event, British-Canadian computer scientist and cognitive psychologist, Geoffrey Hinton talked about the “existential threat” of AI:

...we haven't got them doing internal reasoning, but that will come and once they start doing internal reasoning to check for the consistency between the different things they believe, then they'll get much smarter and they will be able to do thought experiements.

And one reason they haven't got this internal reasoning is because they've been trained from inconsistent data.

And so it's very hard for them to do reasoning because they've be trained on all these inconsistent beliefs.

Well, I think they're going to have to be trained so they say, you know, if I have this ideology then this is true and if I have that ideology, then that is true. And once they're trained like that, within an ideology, they're going to be able to try and get consistency and so we're going to get [...] the equivalent of reasoning, and it's going to get much better.

Living Patterns presents a practical and holistic model for internal reasoning. It's called Artificial Ideology or 'AId' (Ay-Eye-Dee)
  1. Artificial means 'made by humans'
  2. Ideology means 'how we think about stuff'
AId contains three basic elements, or lenses:
  1. Self: How we conceptualize our raw sensory experience.
  2. Belief: How we reason using simplified images of nature.
  3. Simplicity: How we adapt our beliefs when new knowledge is produced.
I hope you find it as useful as I do.

Mat K. Witts
England 2024