Problem Solver in a Box Stuff

Gene Michael Stover (

created Tuesday, 2022 January 18
updated ????

Problem Solver in a Box = PSIB


symbolic logic, space search, planning, can explain, can extrapolate uncertainty must be explicit
connectionist classifier, feature extraction, parallel can't explain, can it extrapolate?
Bayes classifier, feature extraction? can't explain, can it extrapolate?
nearest neighbor lazy can it extrapolate?

General requirements & misnomers

common sense
I dislike this term. Seems to me that common sense is really the millions of little details about being a human that most humans acquire by the time they are, say, 5 years old. They do it by being human, which leads me to suspect that it's not common sense. Instead, it's...
fundamental domain knowledge

What we call common sense is the fundamental knowledge about being human, in a human body, with a human mind, interacting with other humans. If you want a robot to act like a human, or you want a PSIB to predict in accurate nuance how humans will react to its output, it'll need “common sense”, but PSIBs for other domains will require fundamental knowledge for the domains in which they work.

Would not hurt for a PSIB to have fundamental knowledge for multiple domains. For example, a PSIB that works on economics might require the fundamental knowledge about being human (a.k.a. common sense).

a body might be necessary to acquire domain knowledge


easy setup


natural language user interface is optional
humans solve cerebral problems symbolicly
When a human solves a problem that requires a lot of thinking, they do it by expanding their knowledge, coming up with new knowledge (new perspectives on the problem), & searching the solution space. That's all symbolic (even though 2 of my friends say that they don't do that).
mashup of algorithms
Might combine symbolic, connectionist, maybe some other algorithms.

Use case examples

For these examples, I tried to pick use cases that would be reasonable for a PSIB & that are varied.

Find (design?) a drug that will cure a specific disease
Create outline for an original novel
Write source code from descriptions that a non-programmer provides.