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).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ernest 8.0 has rudimentary distal perception

Ernest 8.0's distal sensory system consists of two pixels that react to blue squares. Each pixel reflects 90° of Ernest's surrounding environment. Ernest's left-side pixel reflects the front-left 90° quadrant, and Ernest's right-side pixel reflects the front-right 90° quadrant.

We can think of such a sensory system as an initial visual system. The pixel's value reflects the amount of blue in the corresponding visual field. If there is only one blue square, the pixel's value reflects the blue square's distance from Ernest. Green squares are opaque, meaning that blue squares behind green squares are not detected.

In the beginning of this example video, Ernest is trained the same way as in previous experiments. Then, the environment is opened and a blue square is added. We can see the two pixels on Ernest's head that reflect the detected blue. The closer the blue square, the more vivid the corresponding blue pixel.

Ernest 8.0 does not yet use this sensory system to inform his behavior. Making bottom-up intrinsic motivation and distal sense work together will be one of our next challenges.

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