The Meaningful Body: On the Differences Between Artificial and Organic Creatures

The Meaningful Body: On the Differences Between Artificial and Organic Creatures

Willem Haselager (Raboud University, The Netherlands) and Maria Gonzalez (UNESP, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-111-7.ch008
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The question as to how sign processes can be meaningful to artificial agents has been a fundamental one for cognitive science throughout its history, from Turing’s (1950) argument from consciousness, to Searle’s (1980) Chinese room and Harnad’s (1990) symbol grounding problem. Currently, the question is even more pressing in the light of recent developments in AI robotics, specifically in the area of reactive and evolutionary approaches. One would perhaps expect that given the embodied and embedded nature of these systems, meaningful sign processes would emerge from the interactions between these robots and their environment. So far, however, robots seem to lack any sensitivity to the significance of signs. In this chapter we will suggest that the artificiality of the body of current robots precludes the emergence of meaning. In fact, one may question whether the label “embodied” genuinely applies to current robots. It may be more truthful to speak of robots being “physicalized,” given that the types of matter used in creating robots bears more similarity to machines like cars or airplanes than to organisms. Thus, we are driven to an investigation of how body and meaning relate. We suggest that meaning is closely related to the strengths and weaknesses of organic bodies of cognitive systems in relation to their struggle for survival. Specifically, as long as four essential characteristics of organic bodies (autopoiesis, metabolism, centrifugal development and self-organization) are lacking in artificial systems, there will be little possibility of the emergence of meaningful sign processes.

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Table of Contents
James H. Fetzer
Angelo Loula, Ricardo Gudwin, João Queiroz
Chapter 1
Alexander Riegler
Interdisciplinary research provides in¬spirations and insights into how a variety of disciplines can contribute to the formulation of an alternative... Sample PDF
The Goose, The Fly, and the Submarine Navigator: Interdiscipliarity in Artificial Cognition Research
Chapter 2
Guilherme Bittencourt, Jerusa Marchi
In this paper we describe a cognitive model based on the Systemic approach and on the Autopoiesis theory. The syntactical definition of the model... Sample PDF
An Embodied Logical Model for Cognition in Artificial Cognition Systems
Chapter 3
Leonid Perlovsky
The chapter discusses a mathematical theory of higher cognitive functions, including concepts, emotions, instincts, understanding, imagination and... Sample PDF
Modeling Field Theory of Higher Cognitive Functions
Chapter 4
Gerd Doeben-Henisch
This chapter outlines a possible research program for computational systems representing humanlike intelligence. After a short historical... Sample PDF
Reconstructing Human Intelligence within Computational Sciences: An Introductory Essay
Chapter 5
Alexander Mehler
We describe a simulation model of language evolution which integrates synergetic linguistics with multi-agent modelling. On the one hand, this... Sample PDF
Stratified Constraint Satissfaction Networks in Synergetic Multi-Agent Simulations of Language Evolution
Chapter 6
Paul Vogt
This chapter focuses on recent studies on the origins and evolution of language which have used multiple robot systems as their primary platform.... Sample PDF
Language Evolution and Robotics: Issues on Symbol Grounding and Language Acquisition
Chapter 7
Michela Ponticorvo, Richard Walker, Orazio Miglino
This chapter introduces Evolutionary Robotics as a means of studying spatial cognition in artificial and natural systems. It argues that... Sample PDF
Evolutionary Robotics as a Tool to Investigate Spatial Cognition in Artificial and Natural Systems
Chapter 8
Willem Haselager, Maria Gonzalez
The question as to how sign processes can be meaningful to artificial agents has been a fundamental one for cognitive science throughout its... Sample PDF
The Meaningful Body: On the Differences Between Artificial and Organic Creatures
Chapter 9
Bruce MacLennan
This chapter describes synthetic ethology, a scientific methodology in which we construct synthetic worlds in which synthetic agents evolve and... Sample PDF
Making Meaning in Computers: Synthetic Ethology Revisited
Chapter 10
Patrick Grim, Trina Kokalis
A crucial question for artificial cognition systems is what meaning is and how it arises. In pursuit of that question, this paper extends earlier... Sample PDF
Environmental Variability and the Emergence of Meaning: Simulational Studies Across Imitation, Genetic Algorithms, and Neutral Networks
Chapter 11
Lorenzo Magnani
The imitation game between man and machine, proposed by Turing in 1950, is a game between a discrete and a continuous system. In the framework of... Sample PDF
Mimetic Minds: Meaning Formation through Epistemic Mediators and External Representations
Chapter 12
Roberto Poli
The main thesis defended by this paper is the thesis of the autonomy – i.e., non-reducibility -- of the phenomenic level of analysis of the psyche.... Sample PDF
First Steps in Experimental Phenomenology
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