Parableizer Engine coming together

When I was first thinking about artificial intelligence about a decade ago, I came up with this idea I called Parableizer Engine. Lately I’m starting to see the first elements of this idea being implemented.

What is relational reasoning? It’s a form of thinking that makes use of logic to connect and correlate objects, places, patterns, sequences and other entities. It’s what we humans use to decide which is the best bunch of grapes at the grocery, or what the evidence present in a crime scene means. It’s something intuitive and intrinsic in us, which is probably what makes it so difficult to teach to AI. Because unlike performing a simple, repetitive or manual task, recognizing something, then relating it to something else in the right context is not as simple.

via Robots Are Now Learning To Reason Like Humans.

Here is the related Arkiv article:

Language alters our experience of time

Not only does this article talk about one of my favorite subjects, the Aymara language, and how it is different from other languages, but it’s loaded with gems like this:

But Spanish-Swedish bilinguals are flexible. When prompted with the Swedish word for duration (tid), they estimated time using line length. They were unaffected by container volume. When prompted with the Spanish word for duration (duración), they estimated time based on container volume. They were unaffected by line length. It seems that by learning a new language, you suddenly become attuned to perceptual dimensions that you weren’t aware of before.The fact that bilinguals go between these different ways of estimating time effortlessly and unconsciously fits in with a growing body of evidence demonstrating the ease with which language can creep into our most basic senses, including our emotions, our visual perception and now it turns out, our sense of time.But it also shows that bilinguals are more flexible thinkers and there is evidence to suggest that mentally going back and forth between different languages on a daily basis confers advantages on the ability to learn and multi-task, and even long term benefits for mental well-being.

via Language alters our experience of time.

Enjoy this article, no matter whether it takes a long time or a big time.

Comparing Asterisk vs FreeSWITCH: a Meta-analysis

Overall roughly equal

TL;DR: Overall, the two systems are roughly equal, both are well supported and both are well documented for the needs of anyone with basic PBX needs. For most purposes, either way you go, you’re going to be fine. However, most likely, if you’re asking “Asterisk or FreeSWITCH” you have little experience with either, and therefore little experience with telephony — which turns out to be far more complex under the hood than you might think by using a smartphone. In this common case, you should probably go with Asterisk because: it’s easier to start with, your project is and will remain in-house managing a handful, dozens, or even hundreds of simultaneous calls but not thousands, and you won’t be concerned with advanced features like multi-tenancy, licensing implications, and whether certain call features have more extensively configurable properties. On the other hand, if you’re already a software developer or network engineer with previous exposure to telephony concepts or already know you want to integrate intimately with call features, and/or you have big plans and need to look as far into the future as you can, you’ll want to go with FreeSWITCH. I’m in the latter category, but I understand the practical value that sometimes it is better to give a person a fish instead of teaching them how to fish, since in this case, the caught fish can teach you how to fish if it’s really needed.

Why another article comparing these two?

It’s actually a summary of such articles, and writing is how I organize my thoughts. I’ve worked lightly with Asterisk over the years, but I have a lot of exposure to telephony as a developer working with larger proprietary systems, and am currently making a decision between these two “smaller” open source systems. I’m doing a ground-up evaluation of our own proprietary IVR system built around Asterisk. We’re either going to continue working with Asterisk at the core or migrate the project to FreeSWITCH, so I’m researching both, and to be frank, on almost all counts, I like what FreeSWITCH has to offer. I still like Asterisk — in fact, as a developer, I keep imagining a system that has a single interface managing both to make it even easier for people to decide, but that may be going too far.

Other comparisons

I’ve just read through all of the following articles, which are listed in rough order of importance from my perspective, although anyone else might sort them differently. For example, the first article is old and kind of geeky but it puts you right into the heart of the difference between the two systems, since it was written by the lead developer of FreeSWITCH who had been working deeply with Asterisk for years before deciding to rebuild from the ground up. One of the things I like most about it is that he remained respectful of Asterisk, and speaks well of its merits even while diving into some of its weaknesses. This kind of generosity, in a world of humans who tend to compete fiercely, is attractive to me, and speaks well of FreeSWITCH’s thoughtful origins.

FreeSWITCH: How does FreeSWITCH compare to Asterisk?

Reddit: FreeSwitch vs Asterisk?

OnSIP: FreeSWITCH – The Asterisk Replacement?

A Comparison of VOIP Platforms: Asterisk vs. FreeSWITCH

Choosing between Asterisk and FreeSWITCH

WhichVOIP: FreeSWITCH vs Asterisk

Asterisk Vs FreeSWITCH

I reckon there are other such articles out there, but these are the ones that appeared first in Google. Since you’re still reading after all of those links, many of which are more detailed and better than this article, I’ll assume you’re interested in looking at a few gems like the Rosetta Stone (comparing specific features between both systems) and some high level observations that drove my decision to go with FreeSWITCH over Asterisk.

So what is a PBX vs a Switch?

PBX is smaller scale. A PBX is basically a switch that works inside an organization; a switch is analogous to a PBX that works between organizations. So, you’re a squirrel, a PBX is a tree, and a switch is forest. When Anthony Minessale said “Asterisk is a PBX, FreeSWITCH is a switch” what he meant was that FreeSWITCH was originally designed to do what Asterisk was doing — and to scale, whereas Asterisk was originally designed to address the needs of people who wanted an open source alternative to the big proprietary systems that needed some disrupting at the entry level. Both A and F are actually Back To Back User Agents, both have embedded SIP servers, both cover all the same basic telephony features. Due to the advent of VOIP, the distinction between PBX and Switch has blurred since back in the day when switches were some of the most expensive, sophisticated software on the planet, and PBXes were smaller versions of switches that ran inside universities and large corporations and neighborhoods.

Asterisk to FreeSWITCH Rosetta Stone helps already those familiar with Asterisk to quickly locate that which is equivalent or analogous in FreeSWITCH. It’s also useful for a quick overview of how the two systems “think” about the world.

To be continued as soon as I have time…

How can I install Perl CPAN locally as a non-root user?

Every now and then we encounter a Stack Overflow answer that cuts through hours of searching and aborted attempts at fixes with a few lines of elegance. Here’s one I just deployed, figured I would point others to it as well in case Google brings you here…

The easiest method I have found so far is to say

wget -O- | perl – -l ~/perl5 App::cpanminus local::lib
eval `perl -I ~/perl5/lib/perl5 -Mlocal::lib`
echo ‘eval `perl -I ~/perl5/lib/perl5 -Mlocal::lib`’ >> ~/.profile
echo ‘export MANPATH=$HOME/perl5/man:$MANPATH’ >> ~/.profile

This assumes your profile is named .profile, you may need to change that to be .bash_profile, .bashrc, etc. After that you can install modules by saying

cpanm Module::Name

and simply use them the same way you would if the were installed in the root directories.


The three logical systems of Leśniewski

This guy was a student of Łukasiewicz, who famously established ternary (and then later, multivalued) logic as an alternative to the binary which prevailed since Aristotle’s time. I didn’t know about the three logical systems here, though, and they bear further study:

The distinctive and original contribution of Leśniewski consists in the construction of three interrelated logical systems, to which he gave the names, derived from the Greek, of protothetic, ontology, and mereology. The logical basis of the whole theory, and hence its name (prōtos, “first”), is provided by protothetic, which is the most comprehensive theory yet developed of the relations between propositions. The other two systems are based on a distinction the lack of which, Leśniewski claimed, was the source of Russell’s difficulties with the antinomies: that between a distributive and a collective class. In its distributive use, a class expression is identical with a general name; thus, to say that a person belongs to the class of Poles is to say that that person is a Pole. Hence, ontology (on, “being”) is the logic of names; and, combined with protothetic, it yields all of the theorems of syllogistic (traditional Aristotelian logic) and of logical algebra, as well as of the logic of sets and relations. Mereology (meros, “part”) is the logic of a whole conceived as though physically constituted by its parts—i.e., of the collective class, as the class of all automobiles in Chicago consists of the entire collection of them. Hence, mereology is a general theory of the relation between part and whole.

via Stanislaw Lesniewski | Polish logician and mathematician |

Clifford Algebra combines geometry and algebra intuitively

I always just assumed the link between algebra and geometry was pretty solid, but actually it’s two different worlds, similar to Poincare’s distinction between logical and intuitive that I’ve discussed elsewhere (and so has Terence Tao). So it’s nice to find that someone found an elegant synthesis between the two worlds. Apparently it’s so elegant it compresses Maxwell’s first four equations into a single one, for example.

Why isn’t this already well known? Curious? Me, too. So here’s a lonnnnng page to get you started. Me too, when I find the time to read it all, which is why this post is here.

William Kingdon Clifford
William Kingdon Clifford

Clifford Algebra, a.k.a. Geometric Algebra, is a most extraordinary synergistic confluence of a diverse range of specialized mathematical fields, each with its own methods and formalisms, all of which find a single unified formalism under Clifford Algebra. It is a unifying language for mathematics, and a revealing language for physics.

via Clifford Algebra: A visual introduction.

note to self on trivalence topic

This blog talks about trivalence with several posts I want to read more and maybe respond to someday when I have a little time to spare.

Looking at Kratzer’s lumping problem, or the ill fit of the material conditional with natural language, I get the impression that logic is in its infancy. Beginning with Frege there has been rapid innovation in logic. Unlike technology, which responds with increasing rapidity to a fiercely competitive market, logic hasn’t found its market value, so its progress will seem slow in comparison — unless someone can discover a logical structure that solves AI challenges better than the Aristotelean models.

via Posts Tagged ‘trivalence’ | Language and Philosophy.

In which I discover Final Participation and am delighted

As mentioned, something like original participation can be understood when we converse. We "hear through" the words to the meaning behind the words, and hence our minds participate with each other. In our current state, which Barfield calls "final participation," that participation with the objects we sense still exists (otherwise there would be no perception at all), but has moved from the outside into our subconscious. All we experience consciously is the surface form of the object, like words of an unknown language, meaningless to us. The mentality within, or behind the object is blocked out. We thus treat the surface form as the whole object, like worshipping a statue of God in place of what the statue represents—hence the subtitle of Barfield’s book: A Study in Idolatry.

via Idealism vs. Common Sense.

The world presented by perception is nothing like reality

This is interesting.

On one side you’ll find researchers scratching their chins raw trying to understand how a three-pound lump of gray matter obeying nothing more than the ordinary laws of physics can give rise to first-person conscious experience. This is the aptly named “hard problem.”

On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them. Experiment after experiment has shown—defying common sense—that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”

via The Case Against Reality – The Atlantic.