Qualia Exploitation of Sensor Technology

QuEST is focused on addressing the limitations in computational intelligence.  Computational Intelligence has not developed anything resembling a general purpose solution, despite over half a century of effort.  All current approaches have been built off of objective representations of the world.   Objective representations are characterized by their attempt to capture attributes of the environment under consideration as accurately in a physics sense as possible.  The results from the physical attribute sensing steps are then usually fed into exploitation algorithms or used for display for human operators where decisions are made.

There are several aspects of this approach that are flawed.  First, we have to assume that the sensors were perfectly manufactured and are all identical.  Any variations in sensor development will lead to differences in how the world is observed and in conventional approaches how it will be represented.  Second, we have to have complete knowledge of what our system will encounter and that knowledge is captured either in the data set or models used for development, as well as knowledge of how this data might vary under the complete range of possible operating conditions.  Slight changes in operating conditions can lead to completely different conclusions being drawn by the fragile exploitation algorithms operating with an objective representation.

Nature has adopted an approach that can deal with sensor imperfections and dramatic differences in the input reliably and effectively.  These physiological solutions are based on the generation of a subjective representation that can adapt to ever changing sensors, the unique information experienced by the sensors as a result of their unique embedding, as well as information associated with the exploitation approach to be used for the sensor data.   Subjective representations that are not tied to maintaining fidelity with physics based reality are a critical component of robust decision making.

The aspects of your subjective representation that you are aware of are called qualia.  The color you see when looking at a scene or the pain you feel when you stub your toe are examples of qualia.  Qualia are completely internal, and completely individualized.  They form the basis set from which the subjective world model is constructed.  QuEST (Qualia Exploitation of Sensor Technology) seeks to develop a general purpose computational intelligence system that captures  the beneficial engineering aspects of qualia based solutions.  A QUEST system will have the ability to detect, distinguish, and characterize entities in the environment, to include a representation of its self.  It will also be able to construct a Theory of Mind for other entities in the environment to enable conclusions to be drawn about the internal feelings of sentient entities, such as sentiment and intent.

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