[See also Singularity Timetable based on the Mind.Forth AI Breakthrough]
Man traeumt gar nicht oder interessant. -- Friedrich Nietzsche.

Dreams in Artificial Intelligence

by A.T. Murray

Theoretical basis for dreams in AI

The following brain-mind diagram shows how a robot may have a dream.
If a sleeping robot activates the concept of "dog," an associative tag
carries a signal which reactivates an old image of a dog as recorded
in the prior psychic life of the robot. The old image immediately moves
down the visual memory channel and is recorded as a fresh memory of a dream
about a dog. All images and sounds in the dream enter the sleeping consciousness
in the same way: by being activated associatively and by reentering the mind
as reentrant memories. Whether the waking consciousness remembers the
dream or not, the sleeping consciousness has had a brief interplay of
suddenly re-activated memories rearranged in novel patterns as a new experience.

  Hearing    Vision    Concepts Volition Emotion   Motor Output
 /iiiiiii\  /!i!i!i!\                             /YYYYYYYYYYYY\
| ||||||| || ||||||| |   T                       | |||||||||||| |
| ||||||| || | ___ | |   +                       | |||||||||||| |
| ||||||| ||  /old\  |   +                       | |S|||||||||| |
| ||||||| || (image)-|---+_                      | |H|||||||||| |
| ||||||| ||  \___/  |  /  \                     | |A|||||||||| |
| ||||||| ||         | (idea)               __   | |K|||||||||| |
| | ||||| ||         |  \__/---------------/  \  | |E|||R|||||| |
| |d------||---------|---+        ____    (fear)-|--*|||U|||||| |
| ||||o|| ||  _____  |   +-------/    \----\__/  | |||||N|||P|| |
| ||g|||| || / re- \-|---+      / de-  \---------|------*|||E|| |
| || |||| ||/entrant\|   +     (  ci-   )        | |||||||||T|| |
| ||||||| ||\ image /|   +      \ sion /---------|----------*|| |
| ||||||| || \_____/ |   +       \____/          | |||||||||||| |

For a robot to have a dream, its AI mind software must shut down the input sensorium
of strong sensations coming in from the outside world or from a virtual world.
In humans, the same process is known as falling asleep. Then the AI software
must permit minor "brainstorms" of free associations in the mind of the sleeping robot.
If a kind of self-sustaining "weather-pattern" of internal association develops,
the activity reestablishes a non-waking consciousness in the mind of the sleeper.

Because the robot dream is happening after all inside a computer,
all robot dreams may be monitored as images and sounds in a kind of theater
of the unconsciousness for analysis or even for reentry by the robot into
one of its former dreams. In other words, robots may have a much more active
dream life than humans do, with such robot options as re-experiencing
dreams or even of sharing dreams in the same dream state with other robots.
However, such co-dreaming by robots would be a human programmer's nightmare,
because the associative vortex in one robot mind would have to be coordinated
with an identical or at least similar associative vortex in another robot mind.
It may even be necessary for a master-slave relationship to be agreed upon
before two robots can share a mutual dream, so that the shared consciousness
will flow freely under the associative direction of one unitary mind at a time.
Of course, two robots could take turns in directing the stream of consciousness
central to the experience of the dream, with one more experienced robot
digging up a greater variety of old memories and transferring the memories
as shared mutual dream content to a perhaps younger, less experienced robot.
However, there could not be too great a gap in the levels of experience
between the two robots sharing a dream, or the junior robot may not have
the conceptual and epistemological wherewithal to absorb the conceptual constructs
being transferred from the more advanced mind to the neophyte mind.

Resources for Robot Dreams and Dreaming

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