Moravec, "Intelligent" Robots, and a Central Robot Database

Tue, 4 Nov 1997 17:30:14 -0500

I just finished reading Moravec's "Mind Children". I was intrigued by
Moravec's idea of robots gradually building a"real world simulation database"
to help them adapt to the real world without constantly having to reinvent the
wheel every time they are confronted with a situation. A good idea, which did
not seem to occur to Moravec, would be to have each robot in the world to
download its "simulation database" to a central robot database every night (or
week or whatever). At this central robot database location, the aggregate
experiences of every robot in existence (and those no longer existing) would be
downloaded to all robots every night while they replenished their power
supplies or experienced downtime.

This idea of a central robot database would exponentially increase the rate at
which robots "evolved". Where as one robot might take years to compile a
database of experiences sufficient to achieve a certain level of sophistication
with regards to "dealing with the real world", a million robots worldwide might
achieve this objective in a single day. An analogy would be if you had a
million humans striving to achieve their doctorate in astrophysics. As the
human condition is now, each would have to spend years compiling the knowledge
base necessary to deserve such a degree, but if they could share their
knowledge they could achieve the objective in a much smaller amount of time.
Actually, in such a situation, students could change their approach by having
one group focus specifically on one aspect of astrophysics (say quantum
mechanics) while others targeted other areas (say symmetries in various
theories) to vastly increase the rate of knowledge accumulation by reduced
levels of redundancy.

Doug Bailey
"Science may never be able to prove or disprove the existence of God, but it
can make him irrelevant." - D. Bailey