[MUD-Dev] virtual mind project

Phillip Lenhardt philen at monkey.org
Tue Jul 3 21:36:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

I did a few quick searches over the archives and didn't find this anywhere:


A short quote:

    These are notes outlining a "virtual mind" project I sketched
    together many years ago. It stores data about its environment
    and its internal states and associations between them, and
    selects behaviors based on the current state of activation of
    the associative web.

    The original motivation was to build a "virtual animal" that
    could wander through MUDs and similar systems, exploring the
    world and responding to it in sufficiently complex-but-motivated
    ways to inspire anthropomorphism. Sadly, since objects in a MUD
    universe don't really have consistently explorable properties
    (at least, not without *very* sophisticated language
    interpretation), I dropped that idea in favor of creating a
    virtual world (not intended to represent the the real world in
    any detail, just to create an environment for a mind to explore
    and interact with)... and dropped the whole project shortly

    Still, the idea intrigued me and I've come back to it from time
    to time. The general idea is a program that explores a virtual
    physical universe and builds up a set of data structures that
    relate to that universe in ways that inform its subsequent
    exploration, building up a pattern of motivated behaviors.

    I describe it here as follows:

        A high-level overview of the system as a whole Definitions
        of parts of the system, indicating how they interact

    Lots of stuff here is inspired, derived, or shamelessly stolen
    from a variety of sources -- primarily books on cognition and
    AI, though various other places as well. (In fact, the initial
    idea was sparked by Persig's "Lila", a book unrelated to it in
    any obvious way.) I won't try to credit them all, but Lakoff's
    "women, fire, and dangerous things" and several of Hofstaedter's
    books played a significant role.

There are lots of other good texts at that site if you shorten the
url and poke around a bit.
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