Cosmosis

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Posted by Andrew - October 16, 2006 - 22:51

More about the Science (and the Art)...

If the Goal of Science can be summarised in a sentence, it might be the collating and refining of cognitive models of reality, formalised rigorously with careful technical language (preferably mathematical), and corroborated by experiment, for the purpose of increasing our understanding about the true nature of our World. Paul Feyerabend, an influential philosopher of science, in his seminal work Against Method (1975) argued that science is fundamentally anarchistic, and rejected the notion of any universal scientific method, although certain methodologies have passed in and out of vogue through history.

Science was not originally practised for benefit of its fruits, in contrast to our present times, but rather for very joy of it. One is tempted to speculate that what gives pleasure correlates with truth and usefulness. This is a personal philosophy I hold, that beauty leads us to truth. I take exception to the notion of an "ugly fact" -- a fact is only ugly if the beholder of the fact has previously committed themselves emotionally to an erroneous view.

Hence, the scientific content of our proposal, aside from the relatively banal technical issues (and technique is as much an Artist's problem as a Scientist's), is an enquiry into empirical intentionality, a concept which will be illuminated over the course of the project, but which will involve investigating human aesthetic response in the context of an interactive generative system. This is cognitive and behavioural science more than it is physical science or engineering, despite the prominent dependence of our system design on the latter.

The transferable value of these sorts of potential insights include at least two important contemporary areas:
  • mapping of mood and taste
  • improving human-machine interfaces
These are not independent threads since it is easy to imagine a system responding better because it knows the moods and tastes of the interactors, and system knowledge will likewise depend on efficacy of the interface, a sort of dynamic and autonomous customisation. This is a step towards an intelligent system which adapts to the user, and improves its interaction abilities with accumulated usage.


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