Sentient networks

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The engineering problems of constructing autonomous networks of sensors and data processors that can provide alerts for dangerous situations provide a new context for debating the question whether man-made systems can emulate the cognitive capabilities of the mammalian brain. In this paper we consider the question whether a distributed network of sensors and data processors can form ``perceptions`` based on sensory data. Because sensory data can have exponentially many explanations, the use of a central data processor to analyze the outputs from a large ensemble of sensors will in general introduce unacceptable latencies for responding to dangerous situations. A better ... continued below

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16 p.

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Chapline, G. March 1, 1998.

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Description

The engineering problems of constructing autonomous networks of sensors and data processors that can provide alerts for dangerous situations provide a new context for debating the question whether man-made systems can emulate the cognitive capabilities of the mammalian brain. In this paper we consider the question whether a distributed network of sensors and data processors can form ``perceptions`` based on sensory data. Because sensory data can have exponentially many explanations, the use of a central data processor to analyze the outputs from a large ensemble of sensors will in general introduce unacceptable latencies for responding to dangerous situations. A better idea is to use a distributed ``Helmholtz machine`` architecture in which the sensors are connected to a network of simple processors, and the collective state of the network as a whole provides an explanation for the sensory data. In general communication within such a network will require time division multiplexing, which opens the door to the possibility that with certain refinements to the Helmholtz machine architecture it may be possible to build sensor networks that exhibit a form of artificial consciousness.

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16 p.

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OSTI as DE98057694

Other: FDE: PDF; PL:

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  • 1. international conference on multisource-multisensor information fusion, Las Vegas, NV (United States), 6-9 Jul 1998

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  • Other: DE98057694
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--130837
  • Report No.: CONF-980725--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 293601
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc677123

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  • March 1, 1998

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • April 10, 2017, 2:02 p.m.

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Chapline, G. Sentient networks, article, March 1, 1998; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc677123/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.