Story-Centric View on the Mind

Taisuke Akimoto

Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka, Japan akimoto@ai.kyutech.ac.jp

A. V. Samsonovich (Ed.): BICA 2019, AISC 948, pp. 11–14, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-25719-4_2

Abstract Story-Centric View on the Mind

The basic assumption of the present study is that the essence of the human mind is to generate stories by interacting with environments, or to interact with environments by generating stories. In this context, a story refers to a mental representation of an individual’s subjective world including the past, present, future, and fiction. This assumption leads us to a consistent and plausible understanding of the human mind and realization of a human-like artificial intelligence. In this paper, I present an exploratory computer-oriented theory on the mind by ways of a story-centric view. The theory comprises two concepts. First, the mind is described as an interactive story generation system between the narrator-self and a story that has the power of self-organization. Second, the interrelationship among stories is put in focus, and the generative process of stories is described in terms of the mutual actions between them. Furthermore, these two concepts are adapted to characterization of the conscious and unconscious mind.

Introduction

A major problem in studies on cognitive systems or cognitive architectures [1–3] is to find computational accounts of the integrative and complex workings of the mind. Hence, it is important to develop common theories, principles, models, and frameworks for diverse cognitive functions or phenomena.

From this perspective, I consider the essence of the human mind to be the generation of stories by interaction with environments, or the interaction with environments by generating stories. This assumption will lead to a consistent and plausible understanding of the human mind and realization of a human-like artificial intelligence.

In this paper, I present an exploratory computer-oriented theory of the mind by ways of a story-centric view. The presented theory is constructed from two perspectives. First, the mind is described as the interaction between a story and the narrator who observes and manipulates the story. Second, the mind is described in terms of the mutual actions between stories.

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Mind as Interactive Story Generation

The mind can be interpreted as an interactive story generation system. This concept is derived from the following three assumptions:

  • A story is a mental representation of an individual’s subjective world [4]. A story is a chronological organization of events including relevant entities. It is a universal form of mental representation involving the past, present, future, and fiction.
  • The “self” is divided into two concepts: a character in a story and a narrator who observes and produces the story from the outside [5].
  • A story has the power of self-organization [6]. This claim is derived from the structural complexity of a story. A story involves complicated whole–part and part–part interdependencies. The generation of such a complex structure is difficult to explain on the basis of a centrally controlled system. Instead, this complexity can be understood as a typical complex and distributional system.

An agent interacts with the external environment by organizing the world in the form of a story. This generative process is driven by two powers. On the one hand, the narrator-self can be positioned as the observer and producer of a story. On the other hand, a story also generates its own structure by the power of self-organization. This dual nature of story generation can be interpreted through the analogy with an interactive narrative system [7] (where the user experiences a dynamic scenario by interaction with a computer-based narrative environment). In the mind, the generative interaction occurs between the narrator-self and a story that has the power of selforganization. Figure 1 illustrates the above-described concept. The story in this figure assumes the representation of the situation faced by the agent, including past events and future predictions, plans, and goals.

1611149765949-106.png

Fig. 1. Mind as interactive story generation.

Mind as Mutual Actions Between Stories

I make two assumptions with regard to the background knowledge underlying the generation of a story:

  • A human’s memory contains numerous and various stories including the past, future, and fiction [4]. These stories are accumulated throughout life.
  • These stories provide the knowledge or material for composing a new story [8]. This claim is rooted in the concepts of analogy, case-based reasoning, conceptual blending [9], etc.

From this perspective, the interrelationship among stories is a crucial aspect of the mind. According to the story-centric view, Fig. 2 illustrates a conceptual diagram of the mental structure focusing on the interrelationship among stories. The figure assumes the situation in which the mind generates a future story (as a plan, prediction, or dream). In this situation, the memory of past experiences provides a basis for imagining a realistic future. A fictional story may also act on the future, for example, a child can have a fantastic dream brought about because of the influence of animated movies.

image-20210120052301-2.jpeg

Fig. 2. Mind as mutual actions between stories.

The presented diagram can be generalized in terms of mutual actions between stories. This concept captures the complex work of the mind, as exemplified below:

  • Composing a future story based on past experiences and fictional stories.
  • Reconstructing a past story based on culturally shared stories obtained from literary works, ethical or religious narratives, etc.
  • Interpreting and appreciating a fiction (literary work) based on real experiences and its relationship with other fictions.

14             T. Akimoto

Conscious and Unconscious Aspects of the Mind

Organizing the world into the form of a story is similar to the work performed by consciousness. However, one can assume that a large part of the story generation process is an unconscious automatized process. Indeed, the human being is unaware of how past experiences are encoded and stored into their memory, and how they are retrieved or recollected. The detailed mental process of creating or reading a fiction is also almost impossible to explain. However, the human being generally possesses intuition with regard to controlling of the self. In the theory presented in this paper, the relationship between the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind is explained as the interaction between the narrator-self and a story’s self-organization, including its relationships with other stories.

Acknowledgments. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP18K18344.

References

  1. Langley P, Laird JE, Rogers S (2009) Cognitive architectures: research issues and challenges.Cogn Syst Res 10:141–160
  2. Samsonovich AV (2012) On a roadmap for the BICA challenge. Biologically Inspired CognArchitectures 1:100–107
  3. Laird JE, Lebiere C, Rosenbloom PS (2017) A standard model of the mind: toward a commoncomputational framework across artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, and robotics. AI Mag 38(4):13–26
  4. Akimoto T (2018) Stories as mental representations of an agent’s subjective world: a structural overview. Biologically Inspired Cogn Architectures 25:107–112
  5. Akimoto T (2019) Narratological formulation of story-form memory construction: applyingGenette’s narrative discourse theory. In: Proceedings of the tenth annual meeting of the BICA society
  6. Akimoto T (2018) Emergentist view on generative narrative cognition: considering principlesof the self-organization of mental stories. Adv Hum Comput Interact Spec Issue Lang Sense Commun Comput 2018, Article ID 6780564
  7. Riedl MO, Bulitko V (2013) Interactive narrative: an intelligent systems approach. AI Mag 34 (1):67–77
  8. Akimoto T (2019) Key issues for generative narrative cognition in a cognitive system: association and blending of stories. In: Story-enabled intelligence, AAAI 2019 spring symposium
  9. Fauconnier G, Turner M (2002) The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities. Basic Books, New York

Tags: Reference
Created by admin of logicmoo.org on 2021/02/04 14:09
     
Copywrite © 2020 LOGICMOO (Unless otherwise credited in page)