Quote about Bot Programming
With a mobile robot, however, the input combinations change every time it runs a path. Nothing stays constant in the physical world, and nothing looks the same twice in a row. So nearly infinite are the combination of stimuli to which a sensor-based robot may be exposed that its behavior can be described as virtually nondeterministic. In other words, it appears that the exact behavior of the system cannot be predicted from merely observing its operation and the environment. The keyword here is “virtually,” since the permutations of stimuli and reactions become too convolved for prediction through even the most enlightened observation. When we truly begin to grasp this fact, the whole process of programming autonomous systems takes on an almost metaphysical dimension. Input data can no longer be processed at face value, but must be filtered in relation to other data, and according to experiences of the recent past. In the process of doing this, we begin to see our own human behavior in a new light. Fear and caution, for example, begin to look like excellent control modification mechanisms, and not merely human emotions.
John M. Holland. Designing Autonomous Mobile Robots: Inside the Mind of an Intelligent Machine (Kindle Locations 99–105). Kindle Edition.