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, February 4, 2011

Poor Ernest 8.2

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In this example, Ernest found another strategy that consisted of moving on a straight line while systematically checking on his side to see if he became aligned with the blue square.

On step 120, we created a situation where the blue square would get hidden by a wall when Ernest would enact this strategy. When he saw the blue square, Ernest started moving toward it, but then he arrived to a point where the blue square became hidden behind the wall. This situation illustrates again that Ernest is not driven by a final goal but by rudimentary intrinsic motivations. When the blue square attraction disappears, Ernest just stops and spins in place (motivated to look for a new blue square).

On step 230, we inserted two blue squares. In this particular instance, Ernest got locked in an infinite loop between the two blue squares. Again, Ernest's behavior fits the subjective explanation that he just enjoys moving toward blue squares, which he can keep doing continuously in this specific loop.

Yet, we would like Ernest to be smarter and use a bit more determination to find blue squares. The next step might be of learning to recognize specific locations in space. Learning persistence of spatial locations might be an interesting prerequisite before learning persistence of objects. To manage to recognize specific locations, Ernest will need a better visual system.

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