Dr. Leonid Perlovsky is Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University and CEO LP Information Technology. In the past, Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Medical School Athinoula Martinos Brain Imaging Center, Technical Advisor and Principal Research Scientist at the AF Research Lab. He created a new area of cognitive mathematical engineering, dynamic logic, which solved a number of problems unsolvable for decades. He leads research projects on mathematical models of the mind mechanisms including higher cognitive functions, language, emotions of the beautiful, music, cognitive algorithms for various applications. In leading brain imaging labs around the world his models have been proven experimentally to explain the mind mechanisms not understood previously. As Chief Scientist at Nichols Research, a $500mm high-tech DOD contractor, he led the corporate research in intelligent systems. He served as professor at Novosibirsk University and New York University; as a principal in commercial startups developing tools for biotechnology, text understanding, and financial predictions. He is invited as a keynote plenary speaker and tutorial lecturer worldwide, including most prestigious venues such as the Nobel Forum at Karolinska Institutet Stockholm; published more than 500 papers, 17 book chapters, and 5 books including “Neural Networks and Intellect,” Oxford University Press, 2001 (currently in the 3rd printing) and “Emotional, Cognitive, Neural Algorithms with Engineering Applications,” Springer 2011; awarded 2 patents. Dr. Perlovsky participates in organizing conferences on Computational Intelligence, Chair for the IEEE Task Force on The Mind and Brain, on the International Neural Network Society (INNS) Board of Governors, past Chair for the IEEE Boston Computational Intelligence Chapter, Chair of The INNS Award Committee. He has founded and serves as Editor-in-Chief for “Physics of Life Reviews,” the IF=9.5, ranked #4 in the world by Thomson Reuters. He received National and International awards including The Best Paper Award at Russian most prestigious magazine, Zvezda; the Gabor Award, the top engineering award from the INNS; and the John McLucas Award, the highest US Air Force Award for basic research.
Among fundamental principles of cognition are instincts, concepts, and emotions. Whereas concepts are mental models of reality, emotions evaluate concepts for instinct satisfaction. Cognitive principles governing informatics include the instinct for knowledge driving acquisition of better concepts. Emotions related to this instinct are aesthetic emotions. Informatics and communication require integration of conceptual and emotional mechanisms.
Concepts and aesthetic emotions are organized into the hierarchy. At lower levels of perception, concepts are neural models of objects, and aesthetic emotions are mostly below the level of consciousness. At higher levels of abstract concepts aesthetic emotions are accessible to consciousness. Cognitive concepts at every level of the hierarchy unify lower-level concepts into more general and abstract concepts. Near the "top" of the hierarchy concepts attempt to unify the entire life experience. These concepts attempting to understand the entire life in its unity we perceive as the meaning of life. The KI strives to improve these concepts, and aesthetic emotions corresponding to these improvements are emotions of the beautiful. The KI also strives to make the beautiful a part of our life, in other words the KI improves concepts of behavior unifying the life's meaning. Aesthetic emotions corresponding to improvement of these "highest" concepts of behavior are emotions of the sublime, the foundations of all religions.
Discussions of these concepts near the top of the hierarchy are complicated due to the fact that contents of these concepts are not accessible to consciousness. We can discuss these concepts in language, which is accessible to consciousness at all hierarchical levels. Language is accessible to consciousness because language concepts (words, phrases) exist "ready-made" in the surrounding culture and language. But cognitive concepts do not exist "ready-made" in the world. The fundamental difference between language and cognitive concepts is that language concepts only concern facts of language, but they do not concern facts of the world, whereas cognitive concepts model the world. For this reason children can speak and understand language without fully understanding the cognitive meanings of the world. The difference between children and adults in understanding language is that adults also understand cognitive concepts and can relate words to the world. Children's ability to relate words to the world is limited. The mental hierarchy is really the dual hierarchy of cognition and language. The ability for the cognitive hierarchy is due to language, which become conscious at an early age. During growing up language supports development of cognition, which connects human understanding to the world.
Thinking moves smoothly between language and cognition, and these transitions are not noticed by consciousness. Abstract concepts at higher levels of the mental hierarchy usually are understood due to language, people can discuss their contents in words, whereas the real meanings of abstract concepts, the corresponding processes in the world and mind may not be accessible to consciousness. Connecting knowledge to entities in the world requires unifying concepts and emotions. This integration of knowledge and aesthetic emotions is accomplished with the help of music and prosodial emotions of speech.
Thus informatics understood as communicating knowledge in its interaction with the world requires integrating knowledge with aesthetic emotions, including the beautiful, prosodial emotions in language, and music.