Olivier Georgeon's research blog—also known as the story of little Ernest, the developmental agent.

Keywords: situated cognition, constructivist learning, intrinsic motivation, bottom-up self-programming, individuation, theory of enaction, developmental learning, artificial sense-making, biologically inspired cognitive architectures, agnostic agents (without ontological assumptions about the environment).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ernest4.1's viewpoint

The cyclic representation gives a good idea of Ernest's implementation, but a poor idea of how Ernest learns and controls his activity.

Moreover, the cyclic representation gives the impression that Ernest'a architecture falls into the classical "perception -> cognition -> action -> perception" cycle, which is not really the case. I don't think that the "Assess environment's response" phase can be understood as a perception phase, nor that the "Execute selected schema step" phase can be seen as an action phase. The phases between them do not correspond to classical cognitive problem solving either.

Obviously, at this point, Ernest has not yet constructed the idea that an external world exists outside himself. From Ernest's viewpoint, perception and action has not yet any sense. Thus, the only psychological attribute we can grant him is what philosophers would call a "phenomenological experience", which is a flow of phenomenons that he experiences.

I think an unfold timeline is more efficient to represent this phenomenological experience than the cyclic representation, because it better shows the interwaving of abstraction, learning and control.

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