Sloman Paper Latest

[From Rupert Young (970128.1300)]>

Bill Powers (970122.1945 MST)

Mary has a different take on this article. She says that Sloman is a
potential bridge to the AI community, and that he probably developed all
these general ideas in the process of backing away from the views on AI
that he held in the 70s and 80s. He's dragging a lot of the old baggage
along with him, but Mary says he could very well have begun to see a
PCT-like way of understanding the brain all on his own.

I agree. I did manage to have a quick chat with Aaron Sloman on Friday. It
seems that he hadn't head of PCT until a few years ago, after he wrote the
paper. Apparently he did get a copy of a Living Control Systems and said he
was in contact with you, Bill (email) for a while. So he has some awareness
of PCT though said he had some reservations which we didn't have time to go
into.
He gave me his card and I said I would send him details of the CSG group,
which I will do shortly and hopefully he will join in the discussion.

···

--
Regards,
Rupert

[From Bill Powers (970128.1130 MST)]

Comet Hale-Bopp is looking pretty good at 0530 to 0600 local time -- a
bright object in small binoculars, easy even in moonlight. Look due East,
directly above a bright blue star (Altair), perhaps 10-20 degrees above the
horizon, depending on when you look. Small bright nucleus with a definite
short fan-shaped tail pointing away from the Sun. In a week, when the moon
is out of the sky, it should be an easy naked-eye object.

Rupert Young (970128.1300)--

I did manage to have a quick chat with Aaron Sloman on Friday. It
seems that he hadn't head of PCT until a few years ago, after he wrote the
paper. Apparently he did get a copy of a Living Control Systems and said
he was in contact with you, Bill (email) for a while. So he has some
awareness of PCT though said he had some reservations which we didn't have
time to go into.
He gave me his card and I said I would send him details of the CSG group,
which I will do shortly and hopefully he will join in the discussion.

Oops. I had completely forgotten that exchange, which started about March 3,
1994 on CSGnet, courtest of Bruce Buchanan. I found the posts and read them
again. Sloman is very quick to jump to wrong conclusions, but he seems a
nice guy and willing to talk. Will you tell him that it is VERY important
that he read B:CP before resuming the discussion -- lots of things he needs
to know about PCT are covered there. It just saves so much aggravation when
the discussion is not about things that PCT does NOT say.

Sloman said he would change his mind about a lot of things if PCT leads to,
for example, a model of reaching out to point at a target under visual
control. But I don't think he ever saw the Little Man demo running. It's
probably important that he have that experience, too; it would cut through a
lot of irrelevant criticisms of PCT. Anything you can do?

Best,

Bill P.

[From Rupert Young (970129.1100 UT)]

Bill Powers (970128.1130 MST)

Rupert Young (970128.1300)--

>I did manage to have a quick chat with Aaron Sloman on Friday.
>Apparently he did get a copy of a Living Control Systems and said
>he was in contact with you, Bill (email) for a while.

Oops. I had completely forgotten that exchange, which started about March 3,
1994 on CSGnet, courtest of Bruce Buchanan.

But I don't think he ever saw the Little Man demo running. It's
probably important that he have that experience, too; it would cut through a
lot of irrelevant criticisms of PCT. Anything you can do?

I have invited him to join CSGNET (see below). Would you like to contact him directly and bring him up to date on your previous discussions and the demos ? His email is A.Sloman@CS.BHAM.AC.UK.

···

--
Regards,
Rupert

Prof. Sloman,
      As promised here are the details of the Control Systems Group.
There is a web page at

      http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/csg/

where there are a number of resources such as references, on-line documents
and downloadable demos. The address of the email list is

      CSGNET@POSTOFFICE.CSO.UIUC.EDU

and subscribing details can be found on the above web page. There are also
some
Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) java demos at

      http://www.leonardo.net/Marken/demos.html

I hope you will be able to find time to join in some of our discussions. I'm
sure you will find much of interest, considering the topic of your paper
("Mind as a Control System") that I mentioned last week. I am sure the members
of the group would welcome a contribution from someone from the AI/Philosophy
community familiar with the issues involved in the study of purposive
behaviour.

You mentioned that you had some reservations about PCT. If you do decide to
join CSGNET (even if only for a short time) perhaps you could start by
expressing those reservations. Being from an AI background myself I would
certainly interested in how you think PCT addresses (or not) the important
issues of AI/CogSci.

--
Regards,
Rupert
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