Braitenberg vehicles: How to build a brain
January 17, 2010 9:10 PM Subscribe
posted by emilyd22222 (16 comments total)
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's 1984 book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
was a seminal work for its discussion of how one might design a system (biological or otherwise) in order to generate behavior like that seen in beings with brains. He embarks on a series of thought experiments in which he creates thirteen "vehicles"
through simple components that (arguably) display intelligent behavior, evolving in a Darwinian fashion to demonstrate what appears to be high-level cognition.
In the past 26 years, with the expansion of internet access and capabilities around artificial intelligence, a number
have attempted to make Braitenberg's vision into a reality. Beautiful artwork
has been inspired by the plans for the vehicles. Now, online simulators
allow laypeople to play with the vehicles. You could even build one yourself
Although fascinating at face value, the true depth of Braitenberg's work (as is common with artificial intelligence) may arguably lie in its philosophical and ethical implications. What does this mean for how we conceptualize mental illness and other dysfunctional behavior? How does it affect what we define as free will and intelligent thought?