How Philosophy of Mind influences Artificial Intelligence

The latest episode of Talking Robots is an interview with Inman Harvey of the University of Sussex. He observes that when researchers attempt to build automous robots their approach is strongly influenced by their philosophy of mind, even if that philosophy is only implicit. He also points out that what he calls "good old-fashioned AI" fails to represent how brains really work. This is a point I have emphasized repeatedly. Inman observes that approaches liked embodied artificial intellingence (which we discussued with Rolf Pfeifer in Episode 25) are really based on a different philosophy of mind that "good old-fashioned AI." His paper Philosophy of Mind Using a Screwdriver is available as a PDF.
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Jeff Hawkins talks about why computers aren't more like brains

I often emphasize the fact that our brains our different from computers. If you would like to read an article that comes at the subject from the opposite direction (computers are not brains) read this summary of a recent talk given by Jeff Hawkins about "why computers can't be more like a brain on Dean Takahashi's Tech Talk Blog. Jeff Hawkins was the co-founder of Palm, Inc. and he is author of On Intelligence, which was discussed in the Brain Science Podcast Episode 2.
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Rolf Pfeifer discusses Embodied Intelligence (BSP 25)

howthebodyshapesthewaywethink.jpgHow the Body Shapes the Way We Think, by Rolf Pfeifer and Josh Bongard Brain Science Podcast episode 25 is an interview of author Rolf Pfeifer, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich. The focus of our conversation was the importance of embodiment. Brains (and intelligence) can not be understood separate from their interaction with the body and the physical world. Pfeifer explains how this realization has led the field of artificial intelligence away from a pure computational approach to one he calls embodied artificial intelligence. His interview is spiced with numerous examples that demonstrate why this approach is relevant to those of us who are interested in the human brain. Listen Now. Episode Highlights:
  • A brief overview of artificial intelligence
  • introduction to biorobotics
  • why artificial intelligence and biorobotics are relevant to understand the brain
  • the meaning of complexity and emergence
  • why the close coupling of the sensory and motor systems is essential to intelligence
  • applying design principles to understanding intelligence
  • Numerous examples make these potentially intimidating topics accessible to all listeners
Related Episodes of the Brain Science Podcast: Scientists mentioned in the podcast: Where to learn more about Pfeifer's work: Listen to this episode now. Share your comments on the Discussion Forum Audience Survey itunes-chicklet.gif Subscribe via iTunes™ Subscribe in a reader Subscribe to Brain Science Podcast with Dr. Ginger Campbell by Email


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