by John Pendlebury, Mark Humphrys and Ray Walshe

There is an emerging consensus in much of AI and cognitive science that "intelligence" is most likely the product of thousands of highly specialised subsystems collaborating in some kind of 'Network of Mind'. In 2001, Mark Humphrys proposed that if Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to "scale up", it will require a collaborative effort involving researchers from diverse disciplines, across multiple laboratories ( Until now there has never been an easy system to facilitate the construction of hybrid AI from the work of multiple laboratories. The World-Wide-Mind is the latest in a series of prototype systems, which enables the construction of hybrid AI systems from multiple laboratories.

The World-Wide-Mind server ( allows developers to pose software problems, (whether related to AI or not), for others to pose solutions to. Problems, such as a game of chess, or maze to be solved, are known as "worlds". Solutions to these problems are known as "minds". Both worlds and minds can be developed off-line and uploaded to the World-Wide-Mind server. As facilitated by many video hosting websites, such as Youtube, authors can upload their work and be assured that it will be hosted indefinitely.

Any web user can run a mind by selecting it from a list of minds displayed in a web browser. A new instance of the world and a new instance of the mind are created and run together, after which the world will assign a score to the mind.

This score can be used by mind authors to choose the most successful minds as components in their own hybrid minds, without the need to consult the original mind’s author, or install anything. It then becomes possible to create entire hierarchies of minds with one mind at the top of the hierarchy arbitrating between the actions of minds below it, which might themselves be arbitrators of minds below them, and so on. During a run worlds can opt to output images. The system also has the facility to generate a video using these images.

Figure 1: Some worlds currently hosted on the World-Wide-Mind server, including a space simulation, a tennis game, a mining game and a battle simulation.
Figure 1: Some worlds currently hosted on the World-Wide-Mind server, including a space simulation, a tennis game, a mining game and a battle simulation.

In late 2011 funding was secured from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) to enhance the World-Wide-Mind over three years. Current work in scaling up this platform is to move image generation to the client. This will allow the system to update the user"s view of a run in real-time.

Distributed games frequently use artificial intelligent agents to enhance the user experience. As the user will be viewing the state of a world in real-time, there is no technical reason why they cannot interact with minds in real-time during a run. The advantage to our system would be to allow minds to learn from direct interaction with human agents. With this enhancement the system will resemble a generic MMOG (Massively Mutli-player Online Game) platform capable of running any game that a user may upload.

Figure 2: An Architecture for the World-Wide-Mind showing the World-Wide-Mind server running three instances of worlds with minds; two of which are running with hybrid minds and one running with an individual mind and a user proxy, allowing a user to interact with the world and mind.

Many worlds and minds have been written for the World-Wide-Mind. A selection of the best of these can be found at Some minds on the current system are individuals; others are hybrids consisting of several, or even dozens of individual minds. In the future, instead of developing solutions consisting of dozens of specialised minds, potentially we could develop solutions consisting of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of minds.

The World-Wide-Mind already resembles an ecology, where unsuccessful minds are ignored and successful minds are reused constantly. If this is indeed the case then what kinds of problems will these new hybrids be capable of solving? We hope that this system will harness an unexploited creativity for creating hybrid AIs that until now has been almost entirely dormant.

Links: selected.worlds.html

Please contact:
John Pendlebury, School of Computing, Dublin City University, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 7005616
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Next issue: October 2024
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