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Section 3 / Page 80

As nanotechnology and VR mature then we will increasingly see nano-structures being designed within VR and then being built.

If somebody or company actually produces a controllable universal nano-assembler, then according to the Godfather of nanotechnology, Eric Drexler, then this could spell the end of money. These assemblers will will need blueprints to work from, imagine going from digital design to VR model, straight through to atomically precise production. This could become the rapid prototyping of the future,. Mechatronics is the new name given to this melding of VR, A.I. and nanotech, fractal robotics or whatever you want to call it, Drexler or somebody has now called it cognotechnology. (Also see - Nanorex).

Drexler’s dream of a nano assembling plant in every home or local community, could one day become a reality, as humans learn to master chemical self-assembly techniques and supramolecular chemistry. The net could have allowed for the central control of the blue prints, which could then be passed to these nano-assembling systems:-

About 5 minutes long:-


  • Multi-agent systems:-

Multi agent systems can be seen as nothing more than a set of computer programs that can either work autonomously or cooperatively, below is a practical demonstration of such a system in action.

As you can see, the planes or agents are controlled via computer, the programs controlling those agents can be either autonomous or cooperative in nature. The proposed Macroscopic Neural Network (MNN) system, was envisioned as acting in a similar way, it would not merely be one large monolithic system, but a mass of interconnected agents, working cooperatively. Although this approach was not seen as being a cure all for solving all of the MNN's potential problems, it was seen, as being the idea most behind the MNN's design. The many subsystems within the MNN (i.e. each database or self contained microworld etc),  was envisioned as adding to the collective whole.

The MNN's architecture was to be modular, so many different approaches were envisioned in agent design. Many agents could have included a deliberative design, this approach to A.I. inherently requires a lot of processing power, the grid was seen as supplying that power. Bayesian modelling was also seen as being employed in the design of some agents. The system was to be both passive and reactive in nature, all these approaches and many more where seen as being used within the A.I. system. Distributed artificial intelligence can be likened to a group of people, coming together to work on a common problem or task.

E.g. If you where building a bridge, then you would need engineers, workers, architects, draftsmen, etc, individually no one person could build the bridge, only when working collaboratively could they achieve this task. So in much the same way, the distributed artificial intelligence approach, does not rely on any single method or modeling algorithm, to achieve intelligence, but when all the agents work together in a collective way, then a larger intelligence can emerge. So basically speaking, a virtual doctor may not know anything about being a virtual lawyer and vice a versa, but the MNN, was seen as being able to draw upon, all of the knowledge bases contained within the system, pooling them together, to then build up a larger awareness, or as Marvin Minsky puts it, the Society of mind.

Each person that wants to become an expert in any field, in most cases, has to learn how to model certain types of data, the ability to model the data correctly, increasingly turns them into an expert. In other words they need to expose themselves to both the information and the techniques to distil that information, so allowing them to have a better understanding of whatever it is, that they wish to understand. In much the same way, programmers find techniques so as to allow software to model information, so turning that software or application into an expert. Each person can be seen as running their own individual applications, but we all in effect use standardised hardware i.e. the brain. As you progress through this book, then hopefully you will see the underlying truth, behind what it is, I am trying to say here.

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