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Attempting to codify thought


I've been thinking lately that AI doesn't spend enough time trying to understand and emulate what it means to have a Train of Thought, or for that matter, what a Thought is.  So here's my best guess.  The next step is to try actually coding it up.

class Thought {
  // Rises when Fire()d, decays over time
  float activity;
  List(Association): associations;

class Association {
  Thought other_thought;
  float association_strength;

And a specific type of Thought would be a SensoryMemory, a sort of leaf node that has not only associations with other Thoughts but also a certain sensation unique to that SensoryMemory: a particular smell or sound or visual feature.

Sensory input threads: a Sensor is a thread that takes in sensory input and calls Fire() on the corresponding SensoryMemorys.

Thought::Fire() {

Thought::activate() {
  this.activity += approximately(1.0);

Thought::randomly_activate_nearby_thoughts() {
  related = choose_random_related_thought();  // Weighted by association_strength
  if ( related.active >= 1.0) {
    // Maybe the Association threads make this unnecessary?

Association Threads: an Associator looks at active Thoughts and makes new thoughts that tie together chains of thoughts that are all active right now, or associates active unrelated thoughts:

Associate() {
  thought = choose_random_active_thought();
  chain = recursively_find_all_connected_active_thoughts(thought);
  // Associate the new thought with the entire active chain:
  if (chain.length > 1)  create_new_thought(chain);
  else {
    // A lonely thought!  Find it a friend.
    other = choose_random_active_thought();
    add_association(thought, other);

Decay threads reduce the activity level of thoughts over time.

Chaos threads (probabilistically) randomly activate Thoughts.

So your Train of Thoughts is the sequence of most active Thoughts over time.  What's missing?

TODO: perhaps we need some sort of global arousal level that treats pleasure and pain properly, causing us to shrink from pain and seek pleasure.  Or a notion of how much we are seeking: fatigue makes us sleepy, food increases our curiosity.

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