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).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ernest 7.0 can dream

As said before, when Ernest finds a satisfying solution, he keeps repeating it without searching for a better one. This repetition occurs when Ernest enacts a higher-level schema that consists of enacting a subschema in a context where this same subschema has just been enacted.

Ernest 7.0 detects such a situation which causes him to get "bored" and to "fall asleep".

For Ernest, sleeping is the same as being awake, except that his actions are inhibited and not sent to the environment. Ernest merely "dreams" their results based on what he has learned.

In this video, when he falls asleep, he says "Bored, now dreaming", he stops moving, and he starts speaking his dream aloud.

We can hear that he is dreaming of the sequence S2-S4-S3-S2-S3 (sense - turn right - move forward - sense - move forward). Of course, he is continuing the same sequence that got him bored! Poor Ernest, he is dreaming of keeping turning around! This is more like a nightmare!

What can that be used for? Well, maybe dreaming is a first step before thinking?