Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

The Intelligent System


"The Intelligent System" was described in the October 1984 issue of the SIGART Newsletter.

This program, written in BASIC on an Apple II computer, represents a sheep on the computer screen as a white rectangle. Blue rectangles represent rocks. Red rectangles represent fire. Green rectangles represent grass. The whole area is bounded by a blue wall. The sheep moves in this world.

Part of the program maintains this world, another part performs the functions of the body of the sheep and still another the functions of the brain. The functions of the body are vision, touch, perform responses, hunger, and emotion (all expressed as numbers). Those of the brain are: evaluate sense inputs, evaluate the results of the previous action, select a response. The objective is not shown explicitly but is built in. The program selects responses to increase the (positive) emotion. Hunger (positive points for eating grass) and touch (minus points for touching fire or bumping into a wall) affect the emotion (a variable).

The brain stores triplets of the situation, response, and resulting emotion in the memory. It chooses responses from those triplets that are applicable to the situation and that have a positive emotion. If it finds no applicable triplet, it selects a response by chance.


At first the sheep has an empty memory and acts by chance. After about 300 steps the sheep goes to the grass and eats, and avoids rocks and fire.


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Last Edited 3 November 2014 / Walter Fritz
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