Emergent Intentionality in Perception-Action Subsumption Hierachies


published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI


A cognitively autonomous artificial agent may be defined as one able to modify both its external world-model and the framework by which it represents the world, requiring two simultaneous optimization objectives. This presents deep epistemological issues centered on the question of how a framework for representation (as opposed to the entities it represents) may be objectively validated. In this article, formalizing previous work in this field, it is argued that subsumptive perception-action learning has the capacity to resolve these issues by (a) building the perceptual hierarchy from the bottom up so as to ground all proposed representations and (b) maintaining a bijective coupling between proposed percepts and projected action possibilities to ensure empirical falsifiability of these grounded representations. In doing so, we will show that such subsumptive perception-action learners intrinsically incorporate a model for how intentionality emerges from randomized exploratory activity in the form of “motor babbling.” Moreover, such a model  of  intentionality also naturally  translates into a model for human–computer interfacing that makes minimal assumptions as to cognitive states.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731593.