Intelligence = Complex Control
With an objective of complete autonomy, total automation technology tries to maintain a target system under complete control. This is necessary to attain specific operating conditions that are needed in for truly dependable systems in determinate situations. Think for example in nuclear power plants, life support systems, extra-planetary vehicles, etc.
Traditional control technologies are adequate for control purposes in predefined operation conditions. Some approaches to control systems try to enhance control system behaviour in uncertain situations (adaptive, robust, stochastic control, etc.). Uncertainty comes from the outer environment through imperfect perception, from the inner environment or even from the knowledge used to perform control or the controller itself.
Controlled systems, environments and control implementations are complex in almost all real situations worth mentioning. Human-based supervisory control systems are the common way to increase the percentage of plant operating time.
But humans fail; in some cases they are even not present. An a big question arises: What can we do to increase the autonomy degree of the machines?
The answer is clear: better control i.e. more intelligence i.e more understanding of what's going on. Intelligence is just having better control for bodies. Look at the following definition from a well known dictionary:
Intelligence is not a binary property. It is a more or less continuous magnitude, measured using an utility function in relation with some specific task in some specific context. The bigger the complexity of the task, higher the intelligence of the entity that performs it. This means, for example, that my handheld calculator is more intelligent that myself for some tasks (I hope they are few tasks).
Intelligent autonomous systems have minds that are Complex Control Systems.
My research is focused in Autonomous Systems Engineering. I like to consider it as a mixture of classic topics in cybernetics, artificial intelligence, automatic control and epistemology.
Find more information at the Autonomous Systems Laboratory public web site.
Consciousness. Steps in Complex Control
Scalable Distributed Intelligence
A sample of papers from different conferences.
A Pattern Schema for Complex Controllers
for Control Systems
Fridges, Elephants, and the Meaning of
Risk Management using Distributed Objects
A complete list of publications can be found here.
I have been the organiser (with Aaron Sloman and Ron Chrisley) of the Models of Consciousness Workshop held in Birmingham on September 1.3.
TeachingI teach control engineering and related-issues. Mainly about the use of computers in control systems.
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
ETS Ingenieros Industriales
c/ Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2
Immobile Phone +34 91 336 30 61 Mobile Phone +34 630 89 11 63 Fax +34 91 336 30 10
Ricardo.Sanz at aslab.org
Ricardo.Sanz at etsii.upm.es
Ricardo.Sanz at ieee.org