Electronic memes for 2010-08-24

Fun Bits
IT in your late 30's? Start embracing change because everyone else is doing it faster than you! http://bit.ly/bT7boQ # 20:20 Vision - Computerworldhttp://bit.ly/bT7boQComputerworld - Information technology has always been a fast-changing field. But nothing compares to the expected sea changes in the next decade that will impact the career…
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Is this thing on?

Personal
Well, it has been about a year since I posted on Automatons Adrift. There have been some significant changes in my life. I completed my masters degree with a clear pass. A very rare feat I am told, typically there are at least minor revisions. I left my job at UNBC and moved to the University of Alberta to be the System Administrator for the Faculty of Science. This of course means I moved to the wonderful city of Edmonton. The most surprising thing is, all these changes happend in the last couple of months. Now that my research for my thesis is complete I have a lot less time pressure and I can devote more energy to Automatons Adrift. I have updated the website along with the hosting service…
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If there is an algorithm for intelligence…

Fun Bits, Technology
Then we could run it in about 50 atoms worth of space. That is assuming that we could build the smallest state machine possible in that amount of space and then actually wire it up to some tiny interface. The smallest possible universal state machine was proven to exist a couple days ago by Alex Smith of Birmingham, UK. This really does have some significant impact. While I don’t think we would run the algorithm for intelligence on this particular state machine, we could. We could in fact run any program at all on this state machine and have it input and output any possible string of information. You can think of this as the smallest possible independent microprocessor. This could be a significant step in the advancement of massively…
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Whew… Blogging Breakdown

Fun Bits, Problems
What happens when you work a full time job, get lots of overtime at work and have a major deadline in your thesis work that requires you to code your butt off? You get a breakdown in the amount of cool blog posts you get to put up. I am working out some loose ends in my integration of NEAT into PicoEvo and Simbad. I am to the point where I have to integrate the genetic operators and the evolution epoch into the algorithm and putting it together the right way is tricky. I suspect I will wind up just slamming it together so it works then I can pull it apart and put it back together the right way after I meet my deadline!
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Neurotic Agents

Fun Bits
I got this from Slashdot a couple days ago and I wanted to share it. When you are playing a real time strategy game (or any video game for that matter) the artificial intelligence you are playing against is usually a form of rule based system. The AI is given large amounts of game information, has a complex set of rules it follows and really would kick your butt every time if the game makers didn’t dumb it down. Some recent research into emotional AI with game playing shows that a Neurotic personality does best at playing a real time strategy it even beats the AI that is tuned to be difficult for humans. I wonder if a evolutionary agent could learn the emotions of this AI? Perhaps it could…
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Turkey Weekend

Fun Bits
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. I enjoyed two dinners, one on Sunday and one on Monday. I have many leftovers. I also spent a lot of time working on my implementation of NEAT into Picoevo. It is a very intricate process integrating NEAT into an evolutionary systems like Picoevo. It wasn’t really designed to handle an algorithm like NEAT though it is quite capable of it. I think there is more than one way to implement it, and I am following the approach that I think works right now. In the future I may revise the design to bring it more inline with the design of Picoevo. One of the more interesting tasks of this project is deciding where each portion of NEAT belongs in the Picoevo…
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Simbad a quick introduction

Technology
Simbad is the 3D robot simulator I am using for my autonomous agent research. This is just a brief look at the simbad interface and how you can interact with the simulation environment. We won’t even peek at the really cool features, like its ease of use or potential for Evolutionary Artificial Neural Network research! [caption id="attachment_10" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The Simbad user interface."][/caption] If you click on the image you will see a larger copy of the picture. The large main window is the world view. This is the visualization of the 3D world your simulated robots traverse. It is roughly 20 meters x 20 meters and the basic agents have a radius of 0.5 meters. Underneath the world window is the control window. This interface provides controls for the…
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The Founding Problem

Problems
When I really started working on my research several months ago, I started bringing environments together and testing various technologies out and trying to find the right combination of tools for my work. I could have written my own completely but that would have taken far more time and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The first tool I went looking for was a virtual robot simulator. There are many tools out there I won’t go over them, but I eventually settled on Simbad (I have included the link to the right). It was a nicely coded, 3d robot simulator. It is easily extensible and written in Java, a language I am comfortable with. So this worked for me. I won’t talk about all the other tools I am…
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