Learning Ex Nihilo

by   Selmer Bringsjord, et al.

This paper introduces, philosophically and to a degree formally, the novel concept of learning ex nihilo, intended (obviously) to be analogous to the concept of creation ex nihilo. Learning ex nihilo is an agent's learning "from nothing," by the suitable employment of schemata for deductive and inductive reasoning. This reasoning must be in machine-verifiable accord with a formal proof/argument theory in a cognitive calculus (i.e., roughly, an intensional higher-order multi-operator quantified logic), and this reasoning is applied to percepts received by the agent, in the context of both some prior knowledge, and some prior and current interests. Learning ex nihilo is a challenge to contemporary forms of ML, indeed a severe one, but the challenge is offered in the spirt of seeking to stimulate attempts, on the part of non-logicist ML researchers and engineers, to collaborate with those in possession of learning-ex nihilo frameworks, and eventually attempts to integrate directly with such frameworks at the implementation level. Such integration will require, among other things, the symbiotic interoperation of state-of-the-art automated reasoners and high-expressivity planners, with statistical/connectionist ML technology.


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