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TRIZ and modern interdisciplinary technology, biotechnology and genetic engineering elements: reality and illusion (continued, Part 8 - back to basics)

2012-12-04
Andrew (Gabriel) Livshits

Nowadays it is difficult to surprise the idea of the management of a process. Management fusion energy? Well, the nearest future. Managing inheritance? Please already have genetic engineering. Any idea about how to manage something, even today unmanageable perceived calmly understand, find the controls will operate.
And just the idea of managing the creative process usually causes a sharp resistance. Here is a typical statement.

It belongs to the playwright V.Rozovu: "As you know, the act of creation involuntary. Subdued He even very strong willpower or categorical command ... How ironic that at the time of the artist as a creative act does not think the idea will kill creativity ... I think the artist thinks and works until after, during the act of reflection, creativity should not be. harder, of course, is the case with scientific work. But it's sister art, maybe even my own.

Several years ago, in an article the comment was made that the original source of the greatest achievements and discoveries in all fields of culture, science, technology and art is a sudden and for no apparent reason arising insight. This is creativity. "
So all the same it is necessary to manage the creative process in the field of engineering and technology, or not?

As is known in the technical success of the creative process have distinctly different criteria than in art and, for example if you draw something almost everyone can (or is it a question like someone or not) that the successful pursuit technical creativity determines the final result of this work, expressed a particular effect or quality or the economic or in the aggregate, consisting of many local effects

Can anyone invent? Is it possible to teach creativity? What are the characteristics of creativity talented inventors? To such questions can not answer correctly, unless you consider that inventive problems are different.

Is different and the problem statement, and this statement is very different depending on the time period in which this statement is formulated

Invention - the oldest human occupation. With the invention of the first tools and began the creative process. Since then, millions have been made inventions.

But what is surprising: inventive problems become increasingly complex, and the solution methods hardly improved.

So it was thought at the time to which originated and developed the theory of inventive problem solving, today this statement does not correspond to reality

Here's how it interpreted the authors and pioneers the development and formation of the primary versions of the theory of inventive problem solving:

.... Imagine a company that has moved gradually from the issue of stone axes to produce a computer - while maintaining the original equipment ... That is the case with inventive: the latest technical ideas produced an ancient method of trial and error. Inventor goes through the various options (And if you do so? ..) As long as the encounter in the task ...

Inventive practice of the last decade has shown a complete falsity of the statement
Truly a complete revelation for many were the latest systems of computer modeling of innovative and inventive situations allowed to opt out of a blind or intuitive sorting options and to place this process in artificial intelligence that deals with these problems very easily and efficiently

Certainly changed dramatically criteria and training requirements for future inventors and presence of the most productive and reliable processor technology, and especially the possibility of integration of the inventors and technological problems and to properly combine in virtual prototyping, modeling and simulation capabilities in its programming, generally leads to a perfect end Results of the development, although in a completely new interpretation

Purely technical considerations gave ground integrative view on the subjects of innovation development, tending in the aggregate to the directions of commercial success

And therefore, the structure of the fundamental bases of innovative technical solutions in which there is increasing computer applications, systems, algorithms, and then have a purely structural and technological aspects that were the basis of inventions is what some ten years ago

Emerged and developed rapidly latest interpretation of the theory of inventive problem solving. But they know about it, not all. And so today, someone, as before, casting option for option, looking for a solution by trial and error, although the development of new - even better - a table, algorithms, applications, virtual testing methods of technical and technological ideas to help you create relatively short period of time pioneering inventions that change even culture of consumption, not only the technical parameters of the products of mass consumption and consumption

Can anyone invent? Is it possible to teach creativity? What are the characteristics of creativity talented inventors?

Consider one example of a new approach to technical creative process:

Toshiba is on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, demonstrated a robot that can operate in high radiation and is designed to help emergency workers at the nuclear power plant "Fukushima-1". The announcement of this publication can be found at The Washington Post.

The robot, which is half the height of human growth is in the form of a parallelepiped and is equipped with six cameras and dosimeter. Move the unit with four metal legs that can overcome the steep metal stairs and piles of debris. Remote control is by means of radio communication.

Robot moves relatively slowly, at a rate of about one kilometer per hour, and one step to overcoming it requires at least a minute. Interestingly, during a demonstration on the steps of the test device "hangs" and several members of the company had to move and restart it.

The main feature of the new robot is the ability to operate at high levels of ionizing radiation. The report said the work "in terms of 100 mSv for a year," but sievert - a measure of the effective and equivalent energy of radiation, not its intensity, so say for sure about the maximum level of radioactivity, which can operate the unit until it is impossible.

The robot is not equipped with manipulators, as its main task, the head of Toshiba Goro Yanase, becomes intelligence situation in the area of the reactor. Management of the company operating the power plant has not yet made the decision to use the unit.

Existing robots are not well suited for work in radioactivity, as ionizing radiation interfere with the remote communication with them and disrupts the microchips. So, to work in the open space, which also increased the level of radiation, engineers typically use different electronics ("larger") architecture than the one used in the home.

Radiation resistance of microchips and photo-detectors are also used on the rover's "Kyuriositi."

In developing such a complicated complex involved many technical experts of the highest class, and can not assume that any one of them came to the result of trial and error, so this development would be delayed for a few years, and do not necessarily would have been successful

So to these questions can not answer correctly, unless you consider that inventive problems are different. Conventionally, they can be divided into five levels. Inventive Problem Solving for the first level sufficient to look through dozens of options.

Such inventions (patentable they fully, if they have the necessary significant differences, but they are unlikely to be the inventor of the source material well-being or commercial success) can each specialist.

Objectives of the second level requires a few hundred samples. Their solution is not so obvious, it is not everyone's strength: if the knowledge and experience of small, man exhaled after a dozen attempts.

At the third level solutions are found among thousands of good version, the fourth - the hundreds of thousands, on the fifth-million options.

One may recall, for example, that Edison had to put 50,000 experiments to invent the alkaline battery. And it's only real experiments, the number of thought experiments, all kinds "and if you do so?" must have been much greater.

And if at the time of Edison's invention was given to talented in all aspects of brilliant individuals, but now using the latest design and analysis of programs, known inventions are relatively young teams of technicians in a very short time and to predict in advance the results from year to year is getting closer the ideal final result, in his interpretation of the classic tenets of the theory of inventive problem solving

One may ask: but still made the same invention, the higher levels, then somehow manage to go through hundreds of thousands of options?

Here there are very interesting "relay mechanism". Here there was a problem of "cost" of 100 000 samples. Someone has spent half his life in the search of tens of thousands of samples - and not found a solution.

Then he took to solve the problem of another person, he "dug" yet some part of the search fields. And so on. The problem is gradually gaining a reputation as an insoluble, "eternal."

In fact, it gradually becomes simpler and, in the end, someone dares. Here and there are researchers who are trying to find out - what is the secret of the inventor, who was able to solve the "age-old" problem ... There is no secret. "Losers", stormed the task at the beginning of "relay race" could be even more capable than the one who ran the last stage. They just got too big search field. In fact, the problem was solved by not one person but a whole team, "cooperation contemporaries" as defined by Marx.

For very difficult problems requires cooperation inventors even generations. Their efforts are gradually turning the task of the fifth level in the relatively simple task of the second level, someone makes final push - in the same trial and error.

Modern scientific and technological revolution has brought to the "industry inventions" new requirements: to dramatically increase the number and - most importantly - the quality of produced technical innovations. And this requires effective methods of inventive problem solving higher levels.

American psychologist A. Osborne noticed that there are people who are good mentality generate ideas, but do not cope well with their analysis. Conversely, some people are more prone to a critical analysis of ideas than to their generation. A. Osborne decided to divide these processes: one group to suggest ideas, the other - their analyzes.

Brainstorm (as A. Osborne called his method) does not eliminate the random searches. In fact, it makes them even more confused. And that, paradoxically, is its advantage.

The fact that the samples are directed mainly to the usual way, then affects psychological inertia. Increase the randomness of samples - it means to switch from a trivial, stereotyped ideas to ideas unexpected and original.

Brainstorming is a group of "idea generators" of 6-10 people. Rules are simple assault: a complete ban of criticism, can express any ideas (up to the clearly erroneous, fantastic, humorous), do not give evidence.

Participants join in the assault expressed ideas, develop their ... and sometimes poor original idea gets an unexpected development. All of the above are recorded and transmitted "group of critics," which should turn up in a heap of ideas expressed rational.

In the fifties of the last century with the brainstorming has great hopes. Then it turned out that the challenges can not be stormed. Various modifications have been tried brainstorming (individual, pair, a massive, two-step, "a conference of ideas", "cybernetic session", etc.) - these efforts continue today.

But it is clear that brainstorming is effective only for a certain class of problems, first of all, organizational (eg, searching for a new form of advertising) and production (to find a new use for this type of product).

Brainstorming does not give significant results when it comes to more complex issues: its ceiling in invention - the problem of the second level.

There are other methods of psychological activation of the creative process: morphological analysis, the method of test questions, the method of focal objects, etc.

The most powerful method - synectics. In essence, this is the same brainstorming, but the addition of professionalism: assault leads a group of professional "generator of ideas."

Firm "Sinnektiks" based author synectics W. Gordon, gives "rent" their "idea generators" and takes - for contacts with many companies - a group of engineers in training (training group is from 20 to 200 thousand dollars

Learning process is simple: Members include groups already have experience, "See how we do it." And the theory is simple: Brainstorming is a conscious application of the four types of analogies (direct, personal, symbolic, fantastic), participants remember the storm called psychological inertia, bolder dream.

Plays a crucial role lessons learned from the group. Gradually, there are some skills to overcome psychological barriers, fear disappears unusual ideas, develop skills to use an analogy.

Still, the possibility of limited synectics: Originating five decades ago, it has since become stronger. Its limit - the problem of the second, at least - the third level.

Methods of psychological activation is simple - this is their main advantage. But they are superficial, preserve - albeit in a slightly improved form - the old tactics of trial and error.

Today was widespread algorithmic method of invention.

It is based on the study of the objective laws of the development of technology, the study of tens of thousands of inventions. This is not another method of activation of the thought and the system of scientific organization of the creative process.

Algorithmic technique gives the inventor ARIZ - algorithm of inventive problem solving, that is, a program that allows to solve problems specifically higher levels. ARIZ not "cancel" any individual as an inventor, not a substitute for knowledge and experience.

ARIZ least like a recipe for doing inventions: algorithmic methodology organizes thinking, it requires thought and discipline involves complex mental operations, the correct performance of which we need to seriously study.

Why is the problem of higher levels require many samples?

Take the problem of making a delay line. How to create the desired layered structure? You can, for example, to use a well-known path-consistent sprayed layer by layer. In principle, this method is quite feasible. However, it is very low efficiency and roads: create a massive delay line coated - practically unacceptable decision.

We are faced here with a technical contradiction: seeking ways to improve the well-known one indicator, one characteristic of the object (for example, precision manufacturing), we unacceptably degraded by other characteristics (performance, cost, etc.).
We have to discard option considered, and start again. And then again there is a technical contradiction ... Remember that telling O. Antonov aircraft: it was necessary to increase the area of feathers, and the known path that led to a decrease in the reliability of the design, to the appearance of the harmful factor. The picture is typical of inventiveness.

Solve inventive problem of higher-level technical means to find a contradiction, to identify the reasons for generating and eliminate them.

A huge number of "empty" trial and error at search options due to the fact that the search is conducted without a clear plan, with no clearly visible landmarks. ARIZ sense to purposefully - without a lot of "empty" trial - to identify technical contradiction (it is not always on the mind), to find the reasons for generating (and sometimes causes of causes) and address them through a very small number of samples.

A huge number of "empty" trial and error at search options due to the fact that the search is conducted without a clear plan, with no clearly visible landmarks. ARIZ sense to purposefully - without a lot of "empty" trial - to identify technical contradiction (it is not always on the mind), to find the reasons for generating (and sometimes causes of causes) and address them through a very small number of samples.

In other words, ARIZ - is a heuristic program, allowing no solid variants, reducing the problem of high-level ("price" to many thousands of samples) to the problem of the third level, is easily solved with a few simple tests.

Let's see how to build the process of inventive problem solving using ARIZ.

Given task. Conditionally render it into a triangle, facing the top of the "A" in a certain direction. Every problem contains in its wording a hefty charge of psychological inertia. In the method of trial and error search, as already mentioned, is sorting options. Options represented in the form of arrows. Arrows point to the vector psychological inertia, ie, search of variants is predominantly traditional, familiar way. Edge "and" is directed generally toward making the first level (P-1). In this side of the walk and the sample (arrow).

When the task of ARIZ first - step by step - to destroy the roots of inertia. This is not done general calls to remember the psychological inertia (as in synectics), and specific operations. The problem, for example, is cleared from the established technical terms: The terms are always direct thought to the known paths.

The task changes dramatically, familiar technology is clearly inappropriate. We now begin to increase mental dimensions: what is the intended object of the invention, it was ten, a hundred, a thousand times more. Again changing technology; unprofitable to do that with the smaller sizes were acceptable;
Following two thought experiments, reduced (to zero) and increases (to infinity) the allowable costs. This is only a prelude to the problem, we just loosens psychological barriers.

ARIZ is characteristic for a very thorough treatment of the problem to solve. Thus, the patent information is used not only direct, but also the opposite, referring to the inverse problem, the information contained in such ideas can often be "flipped" used to say, with the opposite sign.

Technical systems - however varied they are - developed according to certain laws.

In ARIZ it is used to identify the specific rules on the reserves of the original system and to determine whether it can develop or she has exhausted all of the reserves and should be replaced entirely new system.

... to be continued ...

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