Synthetics in Action

Synthetic intelligence (SI) is not new. John Haugeland wrote about it in his 1985 book “Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea”(1). Using an analogy about diamonds, he distinguished the use of term synthetic from artificial intelligence. It is all about realism. Although synthetic diamonds are manufactured, they are molecularly identical to a diamond, whereas artificial or simulated diamonds, like cubic zirconia, are not. At RUNWITHIT Synthetics (RWI) realism is what we are creating, an identical version of what is going to occur naturally.

The concept of a synthetic diamond is simple. The hard part is the process, much like the RWI process of creating realism for systems. What makes the process worthwhile is the end result. If you can supply everything that surrounds and interacts with systems in a way a they can’t distinguish from the real thing, these systems behave exactly as they will in any context, including the future.

These systems’ everything can be their users varied behaviour, responding and reacting to what they see on a screen, being impatient, and pursuing goals in a variety of ways that change over the course of a day. The everything can include other systems a system is connected to, accepting, transforming, injecting data and responses. And don’t forget all of the data these systems look for or experience in their environment, such as dynamic geospatial data, sensor inputs, varying network reliability, or radio frequency noise.

This is where RWI Synthetics arrive. Based on all available data, historical or live production data, domain knowledge, sales forecasts, behavioural observations, and research, we construct each entity in the everything. Whether a system needs a few hundred entities or tens of millions, the ability to recreate the scale is crucial. What happens when we coordinate their concurrent and continuous behaviour over time, provides the fidelity we are looking for.

These systems come alive and begin producing data, actual data, not simply modelled or simulated data. They are experiencing reality. Their displays are displaying, their algorithms are making decisions, their databases are compacting, their sensors are sensing, their threads are contending.

But even better than the real thing, we can instrument and script this Synthetic environment in any way you want to see everything you need.

This is where the fun begins. If we can make reality, we can make any reality, including ones that haven’t happened yet. Now we can explore emergent behaviour in unprecedented detail and get data from the future.

(1) Haugeland, John (1985), Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-08153-9.

Myrna Bittner