Saturday, January 14, 2006

A good day here at a2i2. Peter has gone to London, and has left us with the assignment of working on theory, just theory.

Now, I've been involved for quite a long time now, in the planning and working out of cognitive elements. But it is very rare that I get to do pure research, and it is an animal pleasure which I savor when the opportunity to do it comes along.

You see, it so rarely actually pays to do open-ended research, because the results are uncertain, and there is so often concrete, known and defined things that we know we need to do. Progress on those fronts informs theory, and makes it in turn more concrete. We progress this way, surely, but perhaps more incrementally.

But under it all is theoretical understanding, which is why occasional forays into scientific investigation are needed to fuel the engineering we usually do. A little understanding makes everything easier to do, and so these investigations can sometimes pay off very well.

Quite aside from the fact that I enjoy having as a job the explicit instructions "think about this", I think/and hope that it will lead to good things for the company as well.

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