Challenges in the Design of Adoptive, Intelligent and Cognitive Systems

Challenges in the Design of Adoptive, Intelligent and Cognitive Systems

W. Kinsner (University of Manitoba, Canada)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0261-8.ch004


Numerous attempts are being made to develop machines that could act not only autonomously, but also in an increasingly intelligent and cognitive manner. Such cognitive machines ought to be aware of their environments which include not only other machines, but also human beings. Such machines ought to understand the meaning of information in more human-like ways by grounding knowledge in the physical world and in the machines’ own goals. The motivation for developing such machines range from self-evidenced practical reasons such as the expense of computer maintenance, to wearable computing in health care, and gaining a better understanding of the cognitive capabilities of the human brain. To achieve such an ambitious goal requires solutions to many problems, ranging from human perception, attention, concept creation, cognition, consciousness, executive processes guided by emotions and value, and symbiotic conversational human-machine interactions. This paper discusses some of the challenges emerging from this new design paradigm, including systemic problems, design issues, teaching the subjects to undergraduate students in electrical and computer engineering programs, research related to design.
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Engineering Design

An Engineer

The American College Dictionary and other dictionaries define an engineer as a person who is not only versed in the design, construction and use of machines, but also is capable of employing the innovative and methodological application of scientific knowledge and technology to produce a device, or a system, or a process, all intended to satisfy human needs, subject to technological, economic and environmental constraints.

Similar definitions are provided by the engineering accreditation bodies such as the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) of Engineers Canada (formerly the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, CCEP) (CEAB, 2006), and the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (formerly the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology) in the USA (ABET, 2006).

The definitions stress design and implementation through innovative and methodological application of knowledge (not just of information, or even worse, data). As we shall see, innovation and creativity are of particular importance to the design of intelligent systems. We shall also see that the design process of such systems requires a well synchronized team of engineers and other professional from non-engineering disciplines, rather than an ensemble of isolated individuals. In fact, a concept of the world-class engineer has been developed at academics and industry (Leonhard, 1995, December).

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