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The fundamental challenge faced by any visual system within natural environments is the ambiguity caused by the fact that light that falls on the system’s sensors conflates multiple attributes of the physical world. Understanding the computational principles by which natural systems overcome this challenge and generate useful behaviour remains the key objective in neuroscience and machine vision research.
In this paper we introduce Mosaic World, an artificial life model that maintains the essential characteristics of natural visual ecologies, and which is populated by virtual agents that – through ‘natural’ selection – come to resolve stimulus ambiguity by adapting the functional structure of their visual networks according to the statistical structure of their ecological experience. Mosaic World therefore presents us with an important tool for exploring the computational principles by which vision can overcome stimulus ambiguity and usefully guide behaviour.
Evolving visually guided agents in an ambiguous virtual world