Artificial Life in real life
December 8, 2009
Tuesday morning in Flagstaff, after two feet of snow fell on Monday.
Filed under Flagstaff
Tagged with Arizona, blizzard, Flagstaff, snow, winter
About stevegrandI'm an independent AI and artificial life researcher, interested in oodles and oodles of things but especially the brain.
And chocolate. I like chocolate too.
Wow, Steve, that’s amazing. And a bright, sunny day after–how pretty!
” Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things , but just look at what they can do when they stick together ” – Unknown
Looks beautiful .
Especially love the shot of the snow and icicles on the branches against the blue , blue sky
Just rain and more rain here in “old blighty “!
Beautiful! Love all that snow. J does, too. He wants to come play in it. :>
I like the last photo, particularly the contrast between the green and the blue. See you soon!
I hope all your dreams come true this next year
I love your work and your fields of interest.
I need to ask you this. So I do it here, as I find no contact information.
It is maybe a simple/stupid question – but just how did/do you self educate yourself?
One thing is acquiring knowledge – another skills. How do you find the time and money, and most importantly instructions to do it? All by experimentation?
I wish and do also self educate myself, so I am looking for some useful tips for efficiency.
I would be most grateful.
Whoops, sorry about the delay, I missed this.
> How do you find the time and money, and most importantly instructions to do it? All by experimentation?
Time and money are mutually exclusive! I guess I’ve opted to have the time and do without the money. The whole point of educating yourself, imho, is NOT to have instructions. At least, I don’t think it makes sense to take ready-made courses of instruction. Being self-taught is all about developing a different worldview – seeing things that other people don’t see. If you learn from books and courses then you’ll just end up seeing what everyone else sees. The best thing, I’ve found, is to have a goal – something big you want to discover or invent or create. Then you’ll develop the skills as you need them. For instance, I needed to make robot parts, so I bought a lathe and a milling machine and had a go at using them – I soon figured it out and I still have all my fingers. I also need to know a lot about the brain, electronics and a bunch of other things, but it’s so much easier to learn these when I have something specific I want to understand. And as a result I find myself putting this information together in unusual ways that I might not have thought of if I’d just studied the subjects for their own sakes. For instance, learning electronics gave me ideas about the brain, and learning neuroscience gave me new ways of thinking about programming.
I hope that helps a bit. Oh, and have fun doing it!
ooh! you have a blog!
it has been far too long since I’ve played Creatures…
*Waves back* Indeed I do! And indeed it is! It’s far too long since I wrote it, too. About time I tried again…
Hi Steve. I am near the end of your Creation book, and have the Lucy one on order. It is really compelling stuff, and I am greatly inspired to do research and development of my own. I’m 21, and have dabbled a little in electronics and programming in the past, but I have struggled with the concepts until recently. I am currently learning a C – type programming language, and am finding it surprisingly graspable in relation to all the ‘outside reading’ I have done. Any tips on what programming language to use for AI – related development? I have done my research but there are so many options out there. It would be nice for a pro to give me a starting base and point me in the right direction. What language were you using to develop Lucy? Looking forward to reading the Lucy book when it arrives. Many thanks.
Thanks! You can use any programming language you like for AI. As you know, there are a bunch of specialized ones like LISP and PROLOG, but they’re largely for knowledge-based systems and I’d hope that isn’t the kind of thing you want to do 😉 A modern functional language like F# could be good, but I’ve not used one in anger, so I don’t really know. Personally I use C#, because it’s very like C (or rather C++, since it is object-oriented) but much less prone to bugs and tortuous unreadable code. For Lucy I used C# for some of it; the rest was written in C or assembler on the various microcontrollers that were on-board the robot. The language doesn’t really matter much, although I’d definitely advise an object-oriented language – it’s a better way to think. Hope that helps. Good luck.
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