HeX and the single anthill: playing games with Aunt Hillary

In Vincent Müller (ed.), Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 367-389 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In a reflective and richly entertaining piece from 1979, Doug Hofstadter playfully imagined a conversation between ‘Achilles’ and an anthill (the eponymous ‘Aunt Hillary’), in which he famously explored many ideas and themes related to cognition and consciousness. For Hofstadter, the anthill is able to carry on a conversation because the ants that compose it play roughly the same role that neurons play in human languaging; unfortunately, Hofstadter’s work is notably short on detail suggesting how this magic might be achieved1. Conversely in this paper - finally reifying Hofstadter’s imagination - we demonstrate how populations of simple ant-like creatures can be organised to solve complex problems; problems that involve the use of forward planning and strategy. Specifically we will demonstrate that populations of such creatures can be configured to play a strategically strong - though tactically weak - game of HeX (a complex strategic game).We subsequently demonstrate how tactical play can be improved by introducing a form of forward planning instantiated via multiple populations of agents; a technique that can be compared to the dynamics of interacting populations of social insects via the concept of meta-population. In this way although, pace Hofstadter, we do not establish that a meta-population of ants could actually hold a conversation with Achilles, we do successfully introduce Aunt Hillary to the complex, seductive charms of HeX.
Categories
Reprint years
2016
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BISHAT-3
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-10-11
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-10-11

Total views
91 ( #22,715 of 37,949 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #21,010 of 37,949 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.