Preliminary Discussion of the Martian 2 Program Article uri icon



  • A Martian is an artificial intelligent agent that is designed based on the principles of mental physics. The Martian Research Program began in 2008 with the Phase I Martian Infant Model, which I will hereafter refer to as Martian 1. The goal of Martian 1 was to explore neural network system architectures capable of realizing an agent that produced observable behaviors congruent with those of human infants in the first month of the sensorimotor stage of psychological development [Piaget (1970), chap. 1]. The Piagetian model was chosen because Piaget's theory, alone among all those posited to date by empirical psychology, is the only one extant that is (1) systematic across the spectrum of human behavior; (2) is epistemology-centered; (3) is congruent with the theorems of mental physics [Wells (2009)]; and (4) is so far unrefuted by objectively valid conclusions drawn from properly conducted experiments. The specific objectives of Martian 1 focused on neural network system research, but the overarching aim was to gain concrete experience for understanding how the context of neural network theory could made to fit the requirements of mental physics. Wells and MacPherson (2009) documents the outcomes of this research project. The program was primarily funded by a National Science Foundation (NFS) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site grant, in partnership with financial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and partially supported by the Idaho Engineering Experiment Station. In the aftermath of the U.S. recession that began in 2008, NSF cut the funding for half of its REU sites and funding for the program was lost. Since that time, both NSF and the National Institute of Mental Health have declined to fund the program, and so the Martian 1 program was forced to be terminated in March of 2010. 

publication date

  • January 1, 2011