The Kutachi Project

The Kutachi Project aims to create a new vocabulary of user interface conventions for advanced, intelligent systems — systems that work with introspective narrative. We expect these systems to employ reasoning systems that use unfamiliar logics. A parallel project investigates these logics in the context of a narrative reasoning system.

Computer scientists have never before had the need to visually display superlogical situations and intersystem governance. While the development of the reasoning system is challenging, many fine minds are working on components and results are close. In contrast, no one is working the human-centric modeling and visualization issues — the interaction vocabulary — that are just as essential.

The International Symmetry Society envelops a critical mass of minds and work that can jump start such a project. My own history with the Society has affirmed this; it is why we have invested in bringing the large corpus of Society Journals on-line. From a sibling society, the Japanese notion of katachi is an inspiration for both the approach as well as the project’s name.

Web infrastructure for the project is distributed among related sites as illustrated below.

  • [1] The InSitesWhiteternational Symmetry Society Journals have been collected on the Society site.
  • [2] A very personal journal reviews those papers in the narrow context of the project, abstract
    ing and normalizing promising ideas.
  • [3] These ideas feed specific essays on kutachi as the core product of the project.
  • [4] The essays are also informed by the katachi philosophy.
  • [5] Our goal is to create actual, serviceable user interfaces for application in advanced systems. An initial target is redframer.
  • [6] A parallel effort studies how complex narrative is communicated in evolving cinematic grammar.
  • [7] Essays on this cinematic grammar are in the same form as [3].

(Sites 2, 3, 6 & 7 share a common design. Sites 3 & 7 use an evolving experimental web presentation.)

The Problem
Early efforts in artificial intelligence assumed that human-like reasoning could be captured in logical form, and that logic could be readily implemented in machines. We now know that logic is not capable of this.Consequently, we have been involved in two efforts to suitably expand logic. One effort directly fixes the foundations of logic. Another works from a long established challenge to better handle quantum interaction.

Together, they support modeling the world with ambiguities, unknowns, governance of urge, non-deterministic futures, folded time and ‘hidden dancers.’ The models supported by this mathematics inside the machine are good. They have the power to do what we want, and we know how to reason using them; it isn’t so much that the machine is ‘like’ a person as much as sHe understands people.

As living beings, we live in the world and interact with it in all its richness. Separately, we interact with computer displays,with substantially less richness, but there is little overlap between the two because all we can have in the machine are facts and assemblies of facts. Our world is larger.

In between life and representation, we have art that presents challenging, engaging ‘models’ of the world that can have power. For kutachi, we have to use art in some way that allows its power. But we also have to have some underlying formalism. Our first problem was to find a formalism that does not constrain us, one that can bend to stories and get inside them. Now we have this second problem of what it should ‘look’ like and what to we grab to affect it.

The banner image on this site is part of one experiment under way. A blog here mirrors posts made elsewhere.