Brooks, Rodney Allen

Brooks, Rodney Allen
born Dec. 30, 1954, Adelaide, S.Aus., Austl.

Australian computer scientist.

By the time he finished his doctorate (1981) at Stanford University, Calif., Brooks was disillusioned by the traditional "model-based" approach to artificial intelligence (AI). After moving to the Mobile Robotics Laboratory at MIT in 1984, he built simple robots that could perform "insectlike" actions on the premise that practical learning comes from interacting with the real world. In 1997 Brooks became director of the MIT AI Research Laboratory.

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▪ Australian-American scientist
born December 30, 1954, Adelaide, South Australia

      computer scientist, artificial intelligence scientist, and designer of mobile autonomous robots.

      While attending Flinders University in Adelaide, where he received his bachelor's (1975) and master's degrees (1978) in pure mathematics, Brooks was given access to the university's mainframe computer for 12 hours each Sunday. This experience with computers was enough to convince Brooks to come to America to study with the artificial intelligence (AI) pioneer John McCarthy at Stanford University, California. Brooks chose a traditional AI problem for his doctoral research (1981), which he subsequently expanded and published as Model-Based Computer Vision (1984).

 By the time Brooks had finished his doctorate and moved to the Mobile Robotics Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984, he had become discouraged with AI research, especially with the field's top-down approach to problem solving. The top-down approach, which dominated the field at that time, presupposes that a computer must first be supplied with an internal representation of the “essential” features of the world in which it operates—an immensely difficult framework problem for all but the very simplest tasks. Brooks turned this approach on its head, arguing that research should focus on a bottom-up approach—that is, on action and behaviour rather than on representation and function. Brooks began by building basic robots that could perform the simplest “insect-like” actions. (See the photograph—>.) Although no one claims that insects have sophisticated brains, they can engage in rather elaborate behaviours. Similarly, building on a few simple actions and the premise that learning comes from interacting with the real world rather than any model, Brooks's robots displayed surprisingly complex behaviour.

      In 1997 Brooks became director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Research Laboratory, where he continued to push AI in this fundamentally new direction. His influential and accessible essays were collected in Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI (1999). What initially had appeared heretical to traditional AI eventually became a new orthodoxy, complete with industrial and military applications. Brooks and his students designed robots to explore Mars, as well as for more mundane tasks such as clearing minefields.

      Brooks went on to the project of “raising” a robot “child” named Cog—a clever allusion to cognition and gears. Ironically, in abandoning AI's traditional attempts to model human intelligence, Brooks and Cog hold out the possibility of redefining what it means to be human and intelligent.

Michael Aaron Dennis
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Rodney Brooks — Rodney Allen Brooks (* 30. Dezember 1954 in Adelaide) ist australischer Direktor des Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) am Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Nach dem Studium der Mathematik an der Flinders… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rodney A. Brooks — Rodney Allen Brooks (* 30. Dezember 1954 in Adelaide) ist ein australischer Informatiker und Kognitionswissenschaftler. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Brooks — Brooks, Louise Brooks, Richard * * * (as used in expressions) Adams, Henry (Brooks) Brooks, cordillera de Brooks, Gwendolyn (Elizabeth) Brooks, James L. Brooks, Louise Brooks, Mel Brooks, Rodney Allen …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Allen — allén (ant.) adv. Allende. * * * allén. adv. l. p. us. allende (ǁ de la parte de allá). * * * Allen, Woody * * * (as used in expressions) Allen, Ethan Allen, Richa …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Rodney Brooks — Infobox Scientist name = Rodney Allen Brooks image width = 152px caption = Rodney Brooks in 2005 birth date = Birth date and age|1954|12|30|mf=y birth place = Adelaide death date = death place = residence = nationality = n field = Robotics work… …   Wikipedia

  • Rodney — /rod nee/, n. 1. George Brydges /brij iz/, Baron, 1718 92, British admiral. 2. a male given name: an Old English family name, taken from a placename. * * * (as used in expressions) Brooks Rodney Allen Rodney Cline Carew Laver Rodney George Rodney …   Universalium

  • Allen — /al euhn/, n. 1. (Charles) Grant (Blairfindie) /blair fin dee/, ( Cecil Power, J. Arbuthnot Wilson ), 1848 99, British philosophical writer and novelist. 2. Ethan, 1738 89, American soldier in the Revolutionary War: leader of the Green Mountain… …   Universalium

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