Sunday, October 13, 2013

Revamp & Blabbings on AI

So I'm back...I think. Perhaps this time with a more realistic idea of how much involvement with the Creatures community I'll be able to manage with my time. The whole idea of artificial intelligence and the question of how much they simulate real brains and consciousness has inspired me to come back, so I'll be focusing on doing research for that mostly. I don't have time for documenting me playing for the fun of it, although I might occasionally review a few breeds or metarooms as part of my "research". Although I am studying psychology, I must admit neuroscience/neuropsychology is not my area of focus and I actually have a lot of beef with it because it seems overly reductionist but that's a rant for another day. I am more interested in social and cognitive psychology, pretty much why people think and do what they do, I'm not as interested in how (the actual brain processes). But of course, learning the underlying processes is important too, and AI makes it much more interesting, so here I am -and I shall learn slowly. Did I mention recent health issues? I actually wanted to read some stuff Steve Grand wrote today, but as I started I felt like I had heavy weights attached to me eh, so I'll have to focus on getting well first.

Anyway, thanks to Malkin, who sent me a message a while ago asking about stimuli generalisation (how the brain comes to associate a group of similar stimuli to an original conditioned stimulus) it got me thinking about how a majority of what norns do comes down to conditioning. Their behavior is learned by associating a stimulus (which becomes the conditioned stimulus) with a particular response -this association is formed by reinforcement (tickling) and when we don't want an association to form (such as eat elevator!) we use punishment (smacking). The use of reward and punishment to bring about desired behaviour is what we call conditioning. So when a norn gives a response to a particular stumulus (e.g. push elevator), it is because we taught them that the specific response (push) is a correct one to that specific stimulus (elevator). I hope that wasn't too confusing. I know that their behavior is also influenced by other processes aside from conditioning, such as biochemistry and such, but I'd think conditioning is the predominant cognitive process.

Now if AI is to ever really simulate the human brain, it would have to include other cognitive processes that cause the formation of opinions, preferences, worldviews etc. This is not impossible, as it may just seem like a matter of putting in more algorithms. But what about things like EQ or emotional intelligence? That plays a huge role in our thinking and acting too. And will AI actually be able to ponder? Work out things without being told to do so? I think these questions may have to do with consciousness, which is a mind boggling concept without little debate so perhaps I'll explore that further and offer my view as I'm not expecting to find "right" answers to something that has been debated for centuries.

I totally got sidetracked from the revamp part of this post! I'll be removing stuff like useful links and resources since the Creatures Caves is like the one-stop-shop for that kind of thing and I want a new look for this blog. I'm still debating on removing some of the old posts since they seem a bit random. I also might do a few arty things here and there but I'll post those on CC and I'll just put those graphics from the metaroom project (not that there's much) up there as well and people can do whatever with it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


It's funny that my last post was about "getting somewhere" and then I just disappeared...Honestly I've just lost a bit of motivation & I just don't have time to play C3/DS anymore as well as documenting it, which is what most people want to read about I'm guessing. I really still want to do the experiments but for now I want to do a few personal things first. I actually started my own personal blog (always wanted to) & want to start a pixel graphics site again - I just can't resist those cute little things and I've just rediscovered the community >_< Sigh I like way too many things. But anyhoo, when I've got that out the way and life calms down a little I'll resume my experiments. For now I might just lurk around and play with a few new cobs and metarooms :P

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The start of something

I've made some updates finally - it's nothing huge but it's something. I've added more to the websites list and I've added an "About" page for those who may stumble into this blog not knowing what in the world I'm on about because they have not played Creatures yet. I've also started reading up on the norn brain so I'll be posting an intro in the experiments section. Next, I'll be adding more details to these notes and start looking at how C3 brains differ. Hope I'll be getting more done as I am pretty busy! Oh and feel free to use my notes to refresh your memory or as quick references, the more use my notes are, the better.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Catching up on Survivor: Arctic

Seeing that the game started before I came back from my holiday, I missed out on the first week and thus I decided to do some quick catching up. Luckily I read fast! It's quite a bit to go through with all those contestants, though some did not post much at all and have been voted off/are being voted off because of this. It's a pity really, perhaps they're unexpectantly busy or are losing inspiration - I hope it's not the second one, the idea just makes me feel bad! Anyway, I really love how everyone's entries link up with one another's which makes it much more entertaining. Due to the fact that this is the first time I'm observing a game, I'm not sure if the linkage is traditional, either way, it's being done quite well. I also love the extra little scribbles and photos so I'm hoping to see more of that. Lastly, the message in the bottle installments offer an interesting third perspective and the indirect and occasional involvement adds extra flavour to the game.
*waves hand* This do I speak with it??

At the moment I find the Bearthing-Panda-mist duo quite amusing. Laura's writing is also quite amazing which isn't surprising and her encounter with Fly and c1anddsaddict was also just hilarious. I wonder how Laura will get her ear back on?? Mea is quite an interesting character too. As for lisha and Hawk, they better get a move on before it's too late! Good luck to all contestants, keep it up!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Populating Chione

Finally I stumbled across a few other cold resistant norns so I decided to put them to the test to see how well they adapt to Chione in terms of the temperature, finding food sources and travelling, especially because it's such a huge room. I don't know if it's the way I do things, but my norns usually just end up sitting around in big rooms so I was hoping it wouldn't happen here - I tried to scatter different food sources and toys to avoid this. My teaching approach would be minimal interference - just teach the basics and give a bit encouragement if really needed.

First, I decided to hatch a little Astro norn, which the autonamer named 'Arnhard'. Odd name. He immediately started pushing some toys and began exploring the room - so far so good, no shivering or any sign of coldness.

 "You want me to push what??". I don't know what it is with norns and elevators, but Arnhard looks almost frightened by my suggestion to push it. He still hadn't learned many words so I just kept clicking on the elevator.

Turns out it's not such a scary piece of machinery afterall, and off he goes to the top level. Uh oh, is that shivering that I hear? Perhaps the frost bringer wasn't such a good idea. He settles down as the snowflakes melt away so it's not a big problem after all. He does pretty well, wandering through the levels with little encouragement.

Next, I decide to hatch a female Twilight norn (one of Grendel Man's breeds). I just love the purple fur, especially since purple is one of my favorite colours! This little one needed a bit of help with figuring out what's what, but fortunately she found her way to the vocab bot (forgot its proper name) - somebody has to be literate around here!

Again, after some typical throw-arms-in-the-air responses to the elevator, Amami finally got transported to the lowest level, where she happily munched away at some tubas. But what is that? She's bored out of her mind and does not attempt to seek out toys. She might prove to be a bit of a difficult one.

I'm so mischievous bwaha! 
I went to check back on Arnhard, at first joyful to see him out in the snow again, only to majorly facepalm as I watched him pace back and forth endlessly, stuffing himself with carrots and wanting to do nothing else. I had to help him snap out of it and so I moved him to another level, but there he went pushing the wind chime over and over. Just as I was about to go bonkers, he quickly zapped himself to the tuba level - hmm, lets hope that's the last of his insanity! Perhaps it's a bit lonely around here, time for another norn!

Why not hatch two together this time? But of course, that was a last minute decision so my Ecliptican  Hardman hatched first, then came my Oceanic Magma (both breeds found here). I've got quite a colourful bunch here now! A nice unplanned bonus :3

Hmm I'm a bit worried about Amami at this point, as she has just been sitting in the same level for quite some time now. The others seem to have decided it's their new favourite hangout place too, at least things are a bit more lively now. Annoros and Annon even started kissing though they're both males? Eh, wonder if they're CFE's or just engineered that way? Anyway, I kinda think its cute xD (in a non-perverted way ahem). Arnhard is quite far-off to the left but on the same level, sadly he is not doing so well as he has seemingly forgotten he needs to find food!


Annon: "Eem sleepy, eem no more oogh" (this expression makes all that coaxing worth it)
Amami: *dances* ..(why has she not once expressed anger?)

...Time passes and Annon just won't venture out his little cave - I even dragged him out into the snow only to have him walk straight back. Maybe he'll listen to my suggestion to pull elevator..uh nope, thought not. "Let me pretend to sleep so she'll shut it".
Fortunately though, Amami isn't as lazy as I thought since she's been zapping herself here and there, eating and playing nicely. Woohoo!

Everyone's an adult for some time now and I worry at the absence of kiss-popping. Alright time for match-making! Wow, they really get to it huh? One minute I put them together, the second Amami's pregnant! Naughty little norns.

Arnhard is back to normal and does some travelling!

"Welcome little Bean! ..Don't run away from our loove!"

...To be continued! I'm quite happy with the way things turned out as all norns travelled more than I expected and managed to be pretty self-reliant despite a few dumb moments (like eat elevator). Though I suspect more social norns would find it a bit too vast and it takes forever for norns to find mates on their own. The temperature seems to be fine for these specific breeds so there's quite a few to populate the room with. Aside from the Astro norn, the others seem pretty comfy even when it snows. Hope this style of reporting isn't too boring! There's not a lot going on yet since the norns are relatively isolated most of the time. We'll see if we can liven things up.