Joanna J. Bryson

Hi! These are my old MIT web pages. My new Bath pages will be here.

Quick links to:
  • my research,
  • publications,
  • related research links,
  • affiliations,
  • address, and
  • the rest of my life.
  • Quote of the random time interval: "There is definitely, definitely, definitely no logic to human behavior" --- Bjork.

    Old quotes are here.    Information for Americans.

    I've accepted a permanent faculty position at the University of Bath.

    This page last modified 24 September, 2002 with my new address. My publications and related research pages normally get updated more frequently than this one!

    My Research

    I'm currently working as a postdoc in of Marc Hauser's Lab at Harvard applying my methodology Behavior Oriented Design (BOD) to the problem of modeling non-human primate learning.

    BOD was the primary contribution of my PhD. BOD is for creating the control for complex intelligent agents, such as virtual reality characters or humanoid robots. It is an outgrowth of Reactive and Behavior-Based AI and Object Oriented Design. Intelligences created under BOD consist of:

  • an interdependent set of parallel perception/action modules called behaviors,
  • a multi-rooted hierarchy of reactive plans, and
  • a means for appropriately channeling the system's attention.
  • This decomposition both simplifies the design of an agent and supports learning by the agent. Learning and the details of perception and action are contained in relatively simple modules, the behaviors. Where the actions of different behavior modules might interfere with each other, coordination is provided by the attention system, which uses the reactive plans to determine priorities given the agent's current focus and the current environmental context.

    To read more about this, follow the links above, or see my list of publications.

    Other Sides of My Research

  • Here's some more general things I've written about Artificial Intelligence and its impact on society.
  • Here's a research-oriented list of Related Web Sites .
  • Previous research projects and labs:
  • The Reactive Accompanist (an AI music system.)
  • Cog (a humanoid robot.)
  • The Intelligent Systems Laboratory (now the CNL) -- children, monkeys and robots!
  • I developed BOD while working on my own AI architecture Edmund .
  • The Tutorial Dialogue Group of the Edinburgh Human Communication Research Centre.
  • I've worked a little with my former advisor Lynn Andrea Stein on DAML.
  • The best supported theory in science is the theory of evolution (FAQs). We don't understand evolution perfectly, but we understand it better than we understand gravity. If you don't know basic evolution theory, you will have trouble understanding not only biology, but also modern theories of society (including religion) and intelligence (including artificial intelligence).

    Other Bits of Life

    I have RSI, clicking there will get you to a good information server about typing injuries. I have a datahand keyboard, clicking there will show you a picture of one. Jane Greening and Bruce Lynn of UCL have technology for demonstrating that RSI is nerve damage, which is useful for legal claims. If you work in MIT-NE43, you might want to join the RSI mailing list that I set up. If you are in AI, just edit the alias file, otherwise you can email me. Elsewhere in Boston, you might want to join The Coalition on New Office Technology. Janet Cahn's Media Lab RSI Page is also very helpful, especially the "What I learned at MIT..." part.

    The Artificial Intelligence Lab / Lab of Computer Science Soccer teams The Cold Booters kick grass. In 2001 we had both B+ and C league teams. (I started the C-league team in 1994, but there aren't always enough people.) We practice occasionally all year, but the IM season proper is Fall term. Even though hockey is evil (it takes people away from soccer!) I've also also played with the D-league Halting Problem (1995 & 2000), which I only admit because it's such a great name.

    I'm stunned to learn that I have an MP3, from my usenet music days. I never could play lead, even pre-RSI. You really can find anything on the net. Maybe I should start collecting art, well, art links.

    Politics... Check out the City of Cambridge home page which has links to the US federal government and the MA government as well. The local phone numbers for MIT area Congresspeople are Ted Kennedy 565-3170, John Kerry 565-8519 and Michael E. Capuano 621-6208 (Rep for Cambridge and Somerville). Write your U.S. Representative, wherever you live. Click here to find out where to vote if you are in Massachusetts. Cambridge Civic Journal. British Politics (seriously). I'm supporting Robert Reich for Massachusetts governer.

speech online

    A couple of good causes:

  • The Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR National ID FAQ), and
  • The Centre for Alternative Technology.
  • The Better Business Bureau has online reports about (at least American) charities. The Consumer Price Index lets you compare prices and wages across years. Are you interested in US Constitutional Law?

    My Past

    In case you are trying to figure out if you know me, or if you just want to know about some really cool people and places, here's my life's history:

    I am late of the MIT AI Lab, the Division of Informatics and the Department of Psychology of the University of Edinburgh, LEGO both Futura (Boston Branch) and Digital / Darwin (Billund, Denmark), Marble Associates, LaSalle Street in Chicago, The College of the University of Chicago, and Glenbard North Highschool (I started 2 years after these guys graduated!), Jay Stream Jr. High and Roy De Shane Elementary School, all in Carol Stream, Illinois (I lived on this street from 1970-1982.) I spent the late 60's in Omaha, Nebraska (but I don't remember them,) and I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, like Herbert Simon.

    Family stuff: my sister's web page (she's "Mrs. Bird") and my brother-in-law's (David Lowe).

    Do you need a foundry? (do you want your sculptures in brass?)

    Car on Walkway I've never owned a car.    (I'd like to live here.)    I sometimes rant.

    Here's my resumé (as of June 2002) in pdf or postscript, in case you are looking for excuses to give me money. (The pdf one prints better for some reason.) See also my affiliations for recent activities.


    [Since Spring 1994] The guys at the Computer Vision Group at Trinity College Dublin first harassed me about not having a Web page, so now I do, and in return I'd like to suggest the world drop by and ask Gerry Lacey where's the best place to go for a pint.

    [Since Winter 1996] I must acknowledge Will Lowe, though I can't say for what in public. (Parse that in British!)

    Photo [from Fall 1994] by Prof. Fernando J. Corbató. Through photo [from Summer 2001] is Edinburgh University.

    [February 2002] CPI info is from Will Miller's home page.

    [January 2002] I have fallen behind in an acknowledgements arms race with one Dr. William Lowe. Let it be known that Will taught me most of what little I know about science, philosophy and matlab (and history); he does fascinating research into both semantics and politics; and without whom I wouldn't be breathing (so heavily).

    Dr. Joanna J. Bryson
    Department of Computer Science
    University of Bath
    Bath BA2 7AY, England
    United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 3934
    Fax: +44 (0) 1225 38 3493
    For email, see my contacts page (which uses a script to hide it from automated spammers.)