It’s Cognitive Robotics, Stupid!

If you’re a follower of AI or cognitive science news, you may remember Emanuel Diamant’s provocatively titled paper “I’m sorry to say, but your
understanding of image processing fundamentals is absolutely wrong
” (PDF). Diamant is back with a presentation created for the 3rd Israeli
Conference on Robotics, with the equally provocative title: “It’s
Cognitive Robotics, Stupid
” (PDF). In it he laments the lack of
agreed upon definitions for words like intelligence, knowledge, and
information that are crucial to the development of robotics.

I will argue that this lack of proper definitions is the main reason why
the field of research in Artificial Intelligence (and some of its
subfields like Cognitive Robotics, e.g.) has been
derailed for the last 60 years. <…> There are more than 130
definitions of Data – Information – Knowledge notions. There are more
than 75 definitions of Intelligence.

This lack of agreement on what we’re all trying to build is something
I and other robot builders have complained about numerous times over the years. Diamant tries to push things forward with some new definitions that include ideas from Solomonoff, Kolmogorov, and Chaitin dating back to the 1960s. He goes on to show a possible interrelation of physical and semantic information and concludes that semantic information is a mutual agreement between members of a group and cannot be accessible outside of that group. Rather than thinking of robotics as a data-processing computational task, we should be thinking along the lines of incorporating robots into our group of shared semantic information. For more, check out Diamant’s other papers on Vision, AI, and robotics.

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