This site contains three papers in chronological order of appearance in the Proceedings of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association (ANPA) – 2013, 2018, 2020 – on the subject of Awareness in computers.

The first, The Topsy Test for Awareness, addresses the question of how one might determine if an otherwise unknown entity is aware. The paper defines what is meant by awareness, describes how one might achieve this in a computer, and the details of the test. Systems based on statistical properties found in ‘big data’ cannot in principle be aware, and are therefore ignored; appositely, space-like computation uses no arithmetic calculation whatsoever.

The second paper, Awareness Lies Outside of Turing’s Box, presents a detailed mathematical treatment of the overall approach, which is called Space-Like Computation. Its use of geometric algebra as a direct expression of computational semantics is novel, and has sufficient power to express the Universal Wave Function of quantum mechanics. The basic structure of this wave function yields a succinct definition of consciousness: Awareness is resonance, and consciousness is awareness of awareness.

The third paper, Out of the Box: Self-Organizing Awareness, is drawn from the text of the actual patent [granted May 2020] that introduces this technology. Besides introductory and explanatory material, it also presents the key components of the source code for achieving space-like computation. In particular, it presents for the first time the crucial “back-chaining” feature which allows on-the-fly production of plans for achieving goals.

The mathematical signature of the space-like computational paradigm is U(1) x SU(2) x SU(3) x SO(4), ie. the Standard Model of quantum mechanics augmented with 3+1d. A companion website, TauQuernions.org, exhibits the Standard Model in terms of the present paradigm, and besides being minimal, includes explicit expressions for such things as the Higgs boson and dark matter.

My recent talk at the 2020 ANPA conference:

Here is the corrected set of slides from the 2020 ANPA conference … various minor errors and typos fixed. Please don’t propagate the old ones.

I should mention that at one point I say “Computer Science can’t do anthills, ecologies, …”. This is of course not literally true. Ants building tunnels, fish and bird swarms swirling, and the like have all been successfully modelled, often based on “do what your neighbor does”. However like all their predecessors, whatever dodge the programmer comes up with, it never transfers to other domains. It’s always too specific, not general enough. This untransferability has plagued AI since its inception.

Otherwise, on re-viewing the video, I can see that my ability to speak tech has gotten rusty 😉

Please visit www.tauquernions.org for more information.

We intend to announce a contest, with modest monetary prizes, for exceptional contributions that either (1) visually illustrate how the paradigm works – the math and/or the code and/or the hierarchical dynamic, or (2) a cartoon approach to same. So if you are interested, now is the time to start thinking.

Michael Manthey holds a PhD in Computer Science and has taught operating systems, networks, and computer architecture at universities in the USA and Europe. He resigned his tenured associate professorship at Aalborg University (Denmark) to pursue research full-time. He lives in Colorado, USA.