Summer 2002 Contest

AI Article Writing Contest

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This was the second AI Article Writing Contest, straight after the first (July 10th to August 9th). Despite this short turn around, there were enough entries for the contest to proceed. The quality of each of the entries was truly outstanding.

Grand Prize

Cambrian Intelligence

The contest was kindly sponsored by MIT Press.

Rodney Brook's' "Cambrian Intelligence: The Early History of the New AI," kindly provided by MIT Press. Here's the description of the book from their site:

"Until the mid-1980s, AI researchers assumed that an intelligent system doing high-level reasoning was necessary for the coupling of perception and action. In this traditional model, cognition mediates between perception and plans of action. Realizing that this core AI, as it was known, was illusory, Rodney A. Brooks turned the field of AI on its head by introducing the behavior-based approach to robotics. The cornerstone of behavior-based robotics is the realization that the coupling of perception and action gives rise to all the power of intelligence and that cognition is only in the eye of an observer. Behavior-based robotics has been the basis of successful applications in entertainment, service industries, agriculture, mining, and the home. It has given rise to both autonomous mobile robots and more recent humanoid robots such as Brooks' Cog.

This book represents Brooks' initial formulation of and contributions to the development of the behavior- based approach to robotics. It presents all of the key philosophical and technical ideas that put this "bottom- up" approach at the forefront of current research in not only AI but all of cognitive science."

You can find out more, and order the book at or


The voting took place by the other contestants, each voting for their three other favourite articles. 4 points were attributed to the first, 2 to the second and 1 to the third. The entry with most points won.

  1. Emergent Intelligence - by Danilo Benzatti(16 points)

The other entries were also of very good standard, and also had their fair share of the votes (alphabetical order). A special mention goes to Rinku and Linden for their close battle for second spot.

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to write such great articles, for participating at all, and for wanting to contribute their knowledge back to the community.

Participate Too!

If you think you've got what it takes to do what these guys did, then find out about the latest contest now!

Alex J. Champandard