Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Learning machines: The education of an animat - tech - 24 August 2011 - New Scientist

Learning machines: The education of an animat: He and the rest of the team seized on these advances to "cheat" at embodiment. Instead of toiling over a real body, they built a virtual one, whose synthetic sensors would interact with a painstakingly rendered virtual environment (IEEE Computer, vol 44, p 21). This way, they reasoned, they could reap all the advantages of embodied AI with none of the drawbacks. If it worked, they would be able to hit fast-forward on the evolution of an embodied intelligence.

Animat was born on 11 January. That was the day Versace's team hooked up its brain, which is made up of hundreds of neural models - for colour vision, motor function and anxiety, among others - all of which are faithful imitations of biology.

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