Subhash Kak at Foundations of Quantum Mechanics Conference, Växjö, Sweden
|Alma mater||NIT Srinagar, IIT Delhi|
|Known for||Cryptography, Instantaneously trained neural networks, Kak's three-stage protocol, Quantum information, History of science|
|Author of In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, The Architecture of Knowledge|
Subhash Kak (born 26 March 1947 in Srinagar) is an Indian American computer scientist. He is Regents Professor and a previous Head of Computer Science Department at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater who has made contributions to cryptography, artificial neural networks, and quantum information.
Kak is also notable for his Indological publications on the history of science, the philosophy of science, ancient astronomy, and the history of mathematics. On 28 August 2018, he was appointed member of Indian Prime Minister's Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). 
Subhash Kak was born to Ram Nath Kak and Sarojini Kak in Srinagar. He completed his BE from Regional Engineering College, Srinagar (Presently National Institute of Technology, Srinagar) and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 1970, where he was immediately offered a faculty position. During 1975-1976, he was a visiting faculty at Imperial College, London, and a guest researcher at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill. In 1977, he was a visiting researcher at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay. In 1979, he joined Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, where he was the Donald C. and Elaine T. Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2007, he joined the Computer Science department at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater.
He is the author of an autobiography, The Circle of Memory, and several books of poems. He has also authored scholarly papers on art, architecture and music, and he was the anchor of a documentary on Hindustani classical music.
His research is in the fields of cryptography, random sequences, artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, and information theory. He proposed a test of algorithmic randomness and a type of instantaneously trained neural networks (INNs) (which he and his students have called "CC4 network" and others have called "Kak neural networks"). He was the first to formulate the discrete and the number theoretic Hilbert transforms. He claims to be amongst the first to apply information metrics to quantum systems.
He has proposed a hierarchy of languages for communication in biological systems which, in order of increasing complexity, are associative, reorganizational, and quantum. He was featured as one of the pioneers of quantum learning in the journal Neuroquantology edited by Cheryl Fricasso and Stanley Krippner, and also featured as one of the interviewees in the area of mathematics and information in the long-standing PBS series Closer to Truth.
Kak proposed a fast matrix multiplication algorithm for cross-wired meshes. He proposed the use of repeating decimals and other random sequences for error correction coding and cryptography. In cryptography, he has advanced new methods of secret sharing that are of importance in distributed systems such as wireless and sensor networks.
...machines fall short on two counts as compared to brains. Firstly, unlike brains, machines do not self-organize in a recursive manner. Secondly, machines are based on classical logic, whereas Nature's intelligence may depend on quantum mechanics.
[Further], if machines with consciousness are created, they would be living machines, that is, variations on life forms as we know them. Second, the material world is not causally closed, and consciousness influences its evolution. Matter and minds complement each other.
The Kak neural network, also called the CC4 network is an instantaneously trained neural network that creates a new "hidden neuron" for each training sample, achieving immediate training for binary data. The training algorithm for binary data creates links to the new hidden node that simply reflects the binary values in the training vector. Hence, no computation is involved. For effective generalization, the network requires unary coding of the input data, and it can be generalized to non-binary inputs as well.
Kak's three-stage protocol is a protocol for quantum cryptography suggested by Kak. This method consists of random rotations of the polarization by both parties. In principle, this method can be used for continuous, unbreakable encryption of data if single photons are used. The basic polarization rotation scheme has been implemented. The three-stage protocol has been proposed as a solution to get around the requirement of expensive single-photon sources and receivers in other quantum cryptography protocols.
Kak's writings concerning the astronomy of the Vedic period in his book The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda support the "Indigenous Aryans" theory, questioning mainstream views on the Indo-Aryan migration theory and the nature of early Indian science. While Kak's interpretation has been included in recent overviews of astronomy in the Vedic period in India and the West, his chronology and astronomical calculations have been discredited by several Indologists, such as Michael Witzel, and Western historians, such as Kim Pfloker.Alan Sokal labeled Kak "one of the leading intellectual luminaries of the Hindu-nationalist diaspora."
The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda[note 1] claims regularities in the organization of the Rigveda, connecting the structure to certain numbers in the astronomy-based ritual of the five-layered vedi (Vedic fire altar). Kak arranges the number of hymns in each book of the Rigveda as follows, and compares the arrangement to the vedi:
He then computes various sums and subtractions within the diagram, finding numbers related to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and the sidereal periods of various planets.
Kak's archaeoastronomical claims have the effect of significantly extending the Vedic period, postulating the arrival of Indo-Aryan speakers to the 7th millennium BC. This claim is in contradiction with mainstream Indology and historical linguistics and science historians
While Klaus Klostermaier has stated that "Subhash Kak, with his 'decoding of the Rigveda' has opened up an entirely new approach to the study of Vedic cosmology from an empirical astronomical/mathematical viewpoint," other scholars like Meera Nanda have said that Kak's "method is breathtakingly ad hoc and reads like numerology 101." Kak's method depends on the structure of the Rigveda as redacted by the shakhas in the late Brahmana period, well within the Indian Iron Age, when it was organized into mandalas ("books"). According to Witzel, this leaves Kak's approach attempt to date the text flawed, because this process of redaction took place long after the composition of the individual hymns during the samhita prose period.
Kak prepared the section on archaeoastronomical sites in India for the thematic study on Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention prepared for UNESCO by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Kak co-authored In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (1995) participating in the controversy in the politics of India around the "indigenous Aryans" theory. The chronology espoused in this book is based on the archaeoastronomical readings obtained by correlating textual references and archaeological remains.
Kak's book The Asvamedha: The Rite and Its Logic (2002) provides an interpretation of the Vedic a?vamedhá (horse sacrifice) rite. He argues that the details of this rite are connected to the Agnicayana ritual.
In the books The Nature of Physical Reality and Mind and Self and other publications, Kak argues that there are limits to the extent the world is computable. His "philosophy of recursionism" is expounded in his books The Gods Within, The Architecture of Knowledge, and The Prajna Sutra.
Kak claimed to be the first to have used the term "quantum neural computing", taking a Quantum mind position. He sees the brain as a machine that reduces the infinite possibilities of a "quantum-like universal consciousness", which is a consequence of the "recursive nature of reality".
In The Architecture of Knowledge, Kak talks about quantum mechanics, neuroscience, computers, and consciousness. The book is one of the twenty planned monographs in the multi-volume series on the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture under the general editorship of Professor D. P. Chattopadhyaya. The book provides philosophical connections to contemporary science that reach back not only to the Greek but also to the Indian tradition.
The book seeks to find a consistent framework for knowledge in logic, purpose, and awareness, and sees science as representation and transformation of machines, of reality, and of life. Reality is seen in different layers, and
with the dual aspects of purposive and reflexive behaviour in each layer, we see parallels in the structures in quantum theory, neuroscience, and computers. The overarching unity is provided by human consciousness. As conscious subjects, we examine the universe through the agency of our minds. In our strivings to describe the outer world using formal knowledge, shadows of the architecture of the inner world are also unveiled.
More recently, he has spoken of two kinds of consciousness that he calls big-C and little-C, where big-C represents phenomenal consciousness associated with awareness, whereas little-C are those aspects of consciousness that relate to cognitive tasks. He has argued that machines will be able to emulate little-C quite effectively.