The ARCH Mission Foundation Primer

The meanings of life.


The Arch Mission Foundation’s Primer initiative is inspired by the great visual dictionaries, visual encyclopedias and “how things work” books we read in our childhoods.

The goal of this project is to build an open sensory encyclopedia that teaches the meaning of the nouns, verbs, and even the abstract concepts, of human thought and experience, in a species and culturally-independent manner, by anchoring each concept with sets of raw sensory experience data that conveys it.

To start with, we are focusing on building a new kind of visual dictionary and encyclopedia, to use as a source of Primer content for Arch™ Libraries. The Primer is meant to teach those who may discover the Arch™ Libraries what our words and ideas actually mean — without requiring them to know our words to start with.

If at least they have eyes, are intelligent, and are relatively similar to us in scale, recipients of the Primer can explore the sets of semantically linked images and words in the Primer to better understand the meanings of our languages. On the basis of this, they will be better-equipped to understand the meaning of the massive amounts of knowledge in the Billion Year Archive.™

As a first step in this direction, The Arch Mission Foundation has developed an experimental prototype of an open sensory database, called the Archpedia. You can read more about this technology here.

The benefits of the Primer are not only for communicating with beings in the future. It may turn out to be useful for education and communication today, and possibly even for training AIs to understand how humans experience the world.