Last Modified (quickly) February 24, 1997
Joanna J. Bryson
My name is Joanna Bryson. I work at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at
I am a candidate for a PhD (expected within the millennium),
under Gill Pratt.
I'm associated with
The Leg Lab,
but I'm currently in
"There Learning with his eagle eyes / Seeks Science in her coy abode." -- Robert Burns, Address to Edinburgh
Quote of the random time interval: "What we call a mind is nothing
but a heap or collection of different perceptions united together by
certain relations and suppos'd, tho' falsely, to be endow'd with a
perfect simplicity and identity." -- Hume, quoted by Minsky
I'm interested in how intelligence works, in people and in animals.
(I don't think you can understand the former without the latter!) For
several years now I've been working with a distributed model of
intelligence called reactive, behavior-based
reasoning. This approach has produced the first robots that can
reliably interact with the real world at realistic, animal-like
speeds. However, a decade after the approach was introduced at MIT,
there still aren't many robots doing things much more complicated than
navigation, obstacle avoidance and pursuit of visible goals -- ameoba
intelligence! For my PhD, I'd like to fix that.
I'm think I'm making progress on both understanding and solving
the problem. The best / most recent summary of my work is my IJCAI97
submission. It covers the following issues, and presents (well,
introduces) my solution to them.
Everyone should think about the ethics of what they do professionally... right?
Well anyway, I wrote a paper
about the ethics of AI. It's called Just
Another Artifact. I wrote it with my friend Phil Kime. If you're worried about
whether AI's will take over the world in the next 30 years, or even
whether its ethical to unplug robots, take a look! Feel free to argue
with us, just send mail.
That paper partly came out of being associated with Cog; here are some more of my papers and words on the subject.
People used to think you could only do boring, reflexive "physical"
type tasks with a reactive, behavior-based approach. So I previously
applied it to the fairly interesting intellectual activity of music in
The Reactive Accompanist.
Here are some other related web
sites I've stumbled across.
This term's source of income... I'm doing research for Brendan
McGonigle in the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at the University of
Edinburgh. Sorry about the lack of links, we're working on it!
I've previously TAed undergraduate AI
(6.034) in case your curious what that's like at MIT.
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.
If you work in MIT-NE43, you might want to join RSI mailing list that I
set up. If you are in AI, just edit the alias file, otherwise you can
The Artificial Intelligence
Lab / Lab of Computer Science Soccer teams The Cold
Booters kick grass. I wrote the Cold Booters C
League Home Page, and I'll sign up anyone who emails me to
whichever league they like. We practice occassionally all year, but
the IM season propper is Fall term.
Even though hockey is evil (it takes people away from soccer!) I am
also playing with
Halting Problem, which I only admit because it's such a great
Politics... Check out the City of Cambridge home page
which has links to the US federal government and MA state
government as well.
The local phone numbers for MIT area Congresspeople are Ted Kennedy
565-3170, John Kerry 565-8519 and (Rep for Cambridge and Somerville)
Joe Kennedy 252-0200.
I guess everyone should have easy access to this by now, but I find it
useful to keep the whole world right
here. My Dad says to warn you that page is really, really big.
Parents on the internet, I dunno... For some more useful stuff, check
out Mike Wessler's home page, he
collects pointers more diligently than me (well, he writes some of
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
I am late of Department of AI at U of
Edinburgh, LaSalle Street in Chicago, The College of the University
of Chicago, and Glenbard North Highschool in Carol Stream,
Illinois (which is cooler than you think.) 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.
Here's my resume', in case you are looking for
excuses to give me money.
Thanks to Andrew Fitzgibbon for telling me "millennia" is plural.
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
I must acknowledge Will
Lowe, though I can't say for what in public. (Parse that
(This pointed to my
finger back in pre-spam, pre-hacking-paranoia days)
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
545 Technology Square, Room 006
Cambridge, MA 02139
or, for the time being
Intelligent Systems Laboratory
Appleton Tower, level 8
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, EH8 9LE, UK
 (131) 650 4354