Showing posts from 2004

Thoughts on FLARE

[ Audio Version ] Now that I've gotten back into AI research after all these years, I'm starting to reach out to find out more about other research in the AI field. I recently started reading abstracts of articles in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR), which stretches back to 1993, in hopes of finding out more about the state of the art. When I started from the latest volumes, I was surprised by how inapproachable so many of the articles appeared to be. For starters, they appear to be written exclusively for those already deeply entrenched in the field. For another, rather than positing new theories or discoveries, they appear largely to be small extensions of concepts that have been explored for decades. So I decided to start reviewing abstracts from the beginning. What a difference that makes. I recently read an interesting article from 1995 titled An Integrated Framework for Learning and Reasoning , by C.G. Giraud-Carrier and T.R. Martinez and publi

New project: Mechasphere

[ Audio Version ] I suppose I should have announced that I have a new project called " Mechasphere " on my AI site. It's largely an extension of the " Physical World " project, but the software is greatly updated. I suppose it can be said to finally be an end-user-friendly application. The main reason I hadn't announced it earlier is that I didn't consider the site to be done. But I suppose it's moot, now, because I don't think I'm going to continue it as it is. I'm developing a second version of Mechasphere now from scratch in hopes of improving on a lot of the techniques and interfaces I have now as a result of the slow evolution of the product. Iterative development is a good way to clean up past mistakes.

Review of "Bicentennial Man"

[ Audio Version ] I just got done watching the movie Bicentennial Man . Since the movie relates profoundly to the subject of artificial intelligence, I think it most appropriate to share my thoughts in an AI blog. For those who have not seen the movie and are intending to do so, you may not wish to read the following spoiler. Bicentennial Man is essentially a Pinocchio story. A machine named "Andrew" that looks mostly human wants nothing more in life than to make humans happy. He manages to do so in so many ways, but the one thing always standing between him and the fullest measure of intimacy with people is the fact that he's not human. Little by little, he makes himself ever more human-like. By the end, he has chosen to become mortal and to die of "old age" with his wife and, as he lay dying, the "world court" finally announces its acceptance of him as a human being and therefore validate his marriage to his wife of many years. To add to the happin

Neural network demo

[ Audio Version ] I learned of artificial neural networks sometime around 1991. The concept has intrigued me ever since, but it was not until early last week that I finally got around to making my own . I decided to write an introduction to neural nets from my novice perspective and make the sample program I wrote, along with source code, available for other people to experiment with. Click here to check it out.

Roamer: recent updates

[ Audio Version ] I've made quite a bit of progress along the way of this project. It would be tedious to document the full progression since the start. Still, I suppose I should get in the habit of documenting progress from time to time. Since my previous posting, when I wrote an opening summary of the Roamer project, I've made some significant progress. Most importantly, I noticed a memory leak that was occurring because of the poor way I was using the graphics features of the .NET framework. I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't seem to deal well with cleaning up after itself. With a little effort, I eliminated that memory leak nearly completely. It's hard to tell, though, because, as the .NET documentation indicates, garbage collection doesn't happen immediately as objects are removed from use. One exciting change is that now I can define a world using an XML file. Previously, I had to hard-code the initializations of each demonstration. It's no

New Roamer project

[ Audio Version ] I keep trying to figure out how to get started with this blog. I'm in the process of a new research project, but I don't really have a lot of time now to describe it in detail. Yet I think it'll be worthwhile to give updates as it progresses. So I guess the best compromise is to at least summarize my current project. For various reasons, I've called it "Roamer". One of my first design goals was to do what I've wanted to for many years: to create a rich "physical" environment that can be used for AI and AL research. I've basically succeeded in that already. The environment allows for one or more "planets", like Petri dishes with their own different experiments. Each planet is a 2-dimensional, rectangular region populated by various barriers, force fields and, most importantly, particles. All "critters" are composed of particles, basically circles with distinct masses, radii, colors, and so on tha

First entry

[ Audio Version ] This is my first entry into this blog. The subject matter generally is Artificial Intelligence. I have been engaged in AI research in one way or another since around 1990, when I first read the Time-Life book "Alternative Computers", part of their "Understanding Computers" series, a colorful if brief look from a layman's perspective at a variety of technologies that even today get the statuses of cutting edge or bold speculation. As I recall, it touched on neural networks, nanocomputers, optical computing, and so on. Given my intense interest at the time in robotics and digital processors, what most caught my eye was a section on artificial intelligence. At that time, I had followed an odd path that led me from studying simple electronics to digital logic and all the way up to microprocessor architecture. What I was finally realizing around this time was that in order to understand how digital computers worked, I was going to have to learn how