What is Machine Discover & Invention?
Cognitive Computing in now being widely embraced by major corporations, such as IBM, for many enterprise applications. ETC is further focusing its Cognitive Computing efforts to accelerate and enhance research and development productivity by concentrating on Machine Discovery and Invention (MD&I). Some view approaches and processes used in MD&I as Artificial Intelligence (AI), a field that has seen much development over the past fifty years. In order to increase clarity, our approach doesn’t attempt to understand or define intelligence; instead it looks to outcomes measured by actually finding new knowledge that can be objectively described as discoveries and/or inventions. The term ‘Machine’ is meant to refer to algorithmic/automated repeatable approaches typically characterized as being performed by a computer system (which may and likely be composed of many processors, ranging from general purpose CPUs as well as Application Specific chips such as very specialized graphic/vector manipulation chips).
In general, our goal is to use Machine Discovery & Invention to do two things; the first to enhance and accelerate discoveries and inventions in areas that have not seen new significant discoveries and inventions, and second, to discover and invent in totally new areas.
Another way of visualizing Machine Discovery and Invention is to frame the high level functions as Goal Oriented R&D and Open Ended Exploration. Goal Oriented R&D always starts with some specific purpose in mind, while Open Ended Exploration is less prescriptive. You can start out along one path, and stumble into something interesting that really belongs along the other path. The key however is to notice and appreciate unusual and unexpected phenomena or patterns or roadblocks as those maybe strong hints of some new discovery or innovation approach.
OUR WORK IN MACHINE DISCOVERY & INVETION
This is some of the work we have done so far, what we are currently working on, and what we hope to do
In FY15, under the Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsorship, ETC completed an initial/exploratory study on the potential of Literature Based Discovery (LBD) to address Undersea Diving related medical issues. The study and recommendations were documented in the AUTOMATED BIOMEDICAL KNOWLEDGE BASED DISCOVERY FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT.
ETC is currently preparing an MD&I initiative for consideration by the Office of Naval Research. We developed an approach to accelerate discovery of new energetic materials. Part of the approach is to identify major system engineering steps associated with energetics materials development and automated ways to explore the different functional and system component uses.
In the longer term, we look to apply the experience gained from prior efforts and the Energetic Materials MD&I effort to larger & broader scale initiatives. A key thrust here will be to formulate a national level MD&I initiative of a general nature. We look to apply the approach to broader scientific and technical areas and partnering with major research organizations.