Enactive Artificial Intelligence

The final version of this paper is now available from the Journal of Artificial Intelligence. Since I prefer to read the paper with the (author year) style of referencing, I have made a differently formatted version of the paper available here.

Enactive Artificial Intelligence: Investigating the systemic organization of life and mind

Tom Froese and Tom Ziemke

The embodied and situated approach to artificial intelligence (AI) has matured and become a viable alternative to traditional computationalist approaches with respect to the practical goal of building artificial agents, which can behave in a robust and flexible manner under changing real-world conditions. Nevertheless, some concerns have recently been raised with regard to the sufficiency of current embodied AI for advancing our scientific understanding of intentional agency. While from an engineering or computer science perspective this limitation might not be relevant, it is of course highly relevant for AI researchers striving to build accurate models of natural cognition. We argue that the biological foundations of enactive cognitive science can provide the conceptual tools that are needed to diagnose more clearly the shortcomings of current embodied AI. In particular, taking an enactive perspective points to the need for AI to take seriously the organismic roots of autonomous agency and sense-making. We identify two necessary systemic requirements, namely constitutive autonomy and adaptivity, which lead us to introduce two design principles of enactive AI. It is argued that the development of such enactive AI poses a significant challenge to current methodologies. However, it also provides a promising way of eventually overcoming the current limitations of embodied AI, especially in terms of providing fuller models of natural embodied cognition. Finally, some practical implications and examples of the two design principles of enactive AI are also discussed.

Download paper.

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1 Comment

  1. September 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    […] the nuances of the human mind. Is this correct? … yes – it's called the enactive approach: Enactive Artificial Intelligence Tom Froese … it is a response to the perceived shortcomings of the computational and embodied approaches … […]


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