Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

The General Learner


This was a program written by the author, in Lightspeed C in 1995. We will look at this program in great detail because it is a good example that shows most of the functions of a brain. This permits us to be concrete instead of having to talk in generalizations.

We describe the system as it was. Our final objective is to create a completely general learning system. To reach it, we will have to add a number of further functions. We work by trying out the system on a number of dissimilar tasks, observing how it performs, and then adding the function that the system seems to need, to gain an additional capability.

There were two reasons to write this program:

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Learning with no prior knowledge
of the environment
What the Program Can Learn
Comparison With Previous Programs


Details of The Program
The following sections are included for those interested in writing artificial intelligence programs themselves or wishing to know exactly how such a program works and produces its results. They clarify what we have explained about intelligent systems (IS) on a more abstract level. (See Intelligent Systems (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).)

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Overview of the General Learner
Summary Of Processes
Objective and Senses
Present Situation and Response Rules
Selecting the Action
Acting and Reinforcement
Storing and Generalizing and Forgetting
Results and Experiments
Some Technical Details


We have built a small, but complete, system that shows how amazingly far we can go toward creating an IS on a relatively small computer with a sophisticated stimulus - response method and with reinforcement learning.
This IS is complete with senses, elaborates the situation using concepts, chooses a response rule, and performs its chosen responses. It is completely generalized in the sense that there is nothing in the General Learner that is specific to a problem space. It can also learn a wide range of relations between the parts of a stimulus and the parts of a good response.

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Limitations of The System


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Last Edited 14 March 2014 / Walter Fritz
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