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, March 1, 2012

Ernest 11.1 Local Space Memory

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This video shows the content of Ernestine's local space memory during the Ernest 11.1 experiment. As discussed previously, Ernest attributes "causes" of interactions to "phenomena" situated in the external environment.

Ernest 11.1 uses vision and touch to localize places in local space memory that "represent" external phenomena:
- Line segments are places that are constructed using vision.
- Circle arcs are places that are constructed using both touch and vision.

Additionally, Ernest 11.1 localizes places of interactions represented by small symbols:
- Small triangles are places where Ernest enacted a move forward interaction.
- Small half-circles are places where Ernest enacted a turn interaction.

Places of interaction are localized relatively to Ernest and also possibly relatively to external phenomena:
- Fading blue symbols (triangles and half-circles) behind Ernestine represent interactions localized relatively to Ernestine.
- Bi-color blue and yellow symbols represent eating interactions (while moving forward or while turning) localized relatively to fish.
- Bi-color green and red triangles represent bumping interactions (while trying to move forward) localized relatively to walls.
- Bi-color gray and pink symbols represent cuddling interactions (while moving forward or turning) localized relatively to Ernesto.

Over time, this video shows that phenomena "evoke" possibilities of interaction based on previous episodes of interaction (e.g., fish become associated with different manners of eating fish, etc.). In the future, we expect that such a spatio-temporal episodic memory will help Ernest perform mental simulations of possible courses of action. Neuro-physiological studies suggest that the hippocampus supports this kind of spatio-temporal episodic memory in the vertebrate's brain (e.g., Barthoz, 1997).

Berthoz A. (1997) Le sens du mouvement. Odile Jacob: Paris.

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