[Avery Andrews 920810]
(Bill Powers (920809.0900))

At the moment I don't have time to write up a thorough rundown of Sonja (insofar
as I understand her), but Chapman has written a book:

  Vision, Instruction and Action, MIT Press (1991 (I think)). c. $35.

What she does is play a video game (Amazon, based on a commercial game
called `Gauntlet'. Something I hadn't registered when I wrote my
earlier postings was that being a video-game player, Sonja only gets
to move the Amazon in the usual eight joystick directions, but I don't
think this is an essential limitation of the approach.

As I recall, if you tell her to `get the amulet' (she not only plays the
game, but takes advice on how to do it, since she's not very smart),
she finds an amulet on the `screen' (like a human player, she has
a top-down view of the world she's moving the amazon icon around in),
runs a `ray' from her present position to it, & follows the ray
to the amulet (with kludgy patches for obstacle-avoidance.
Interestingly, something she's rather bad at is
navigation: I bet her navigational abilities could be substantially
improved by borrowing the Crowd code to send out a fleet of
`pathfinders' seeking the amulet, & following the course of the one who
gets there first.

Her visual system is a very serious attempt to be neurologicallay
realistic (based on Simon Ullman's visual routines theory), although
the fact that it had to run on serial hardware meant that there had
to be a certain amount of cheating.

More later, perhaps ... non-PCT duties are beginning to catch up with
me. Plus I don't want to do too much more raving about these `reactive
planning' systems until I've put together a (even very simple) one.