Cognition Distributed: How cognitive technology extends our by Itiel E. Dror, Stevan Harnad

By Itiel E. Dror, Stevan Harnad

Our species has been a maker and person of instruments for over million years, yet "cognitive expertise" all started with language. Cognition is pondering, and pondering has been "distributed" for a minimum of the 2 hundred millennia that we have got been utilizing speech to engage and collaborate, permitting us to do jointly way over any folks may have performed separately. the discovery of writing six millennia in the past and print six centuries in the past has allotted cognition nonetheless extra largely and speedy, between humans in addition to their texts. yet in fresh many years whatever greatly new has been taking place: complex cognitive applied sciences, in particular desktops and the global internet, are starting to redistribute cognition in unparalleled methods, not just between humans and static texts, yet between humans and dynamical machines. This not just makes attainable new kinds of human collaboration, yet new kinds of cognition. This e-book examines the character and clients of disbursed cognition, supplying a conceptual framework for figuring out it, and showcasing case reports of its improvement. This quantity was once initially released as a distinct factor of Pragmatics & Cognition (14:2, 2006).

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Of course, psychologists who use neural networks to model and study categorization are not interested in this equation. They’re interested in the global properties of the system. Does the net categorize this set of data, better than this one? Does its categorization ability generalize well? How is its ability influenced by time? To ask and answer all of these questions, they need vocabulary and measurements that apply to the global behaviour of the network. That is, they have a genuine epistemic project (understanding categorization), which can only be pursued at the level of the global system.

Our focus example will be the pack of wolves. When the pack is hunting, each wolf behaves in a way that gives the pack the behavioural capacity to surround its prey (SUR). No wolf in the pack has that capacity: each wolf can prevent the prey from going off in one direction, and “surrounding” is just a matter of locking every direction, which only the pack can do. With respect to emergence, SUR strongly fails two of the conditions, QS and CI (Qualitative Invariance and Cooperation/Inhibition), as it is impossible to surround a prey with one wolf (QS failure) and as the spatial organisation of the wolves greatly impacts this property.

7 Software agents. It is not just today’s (sub-TT) robots that appear to be doing some of the things we cognizers do: Software agents seem to be doing it too, including 15 16 Itiel Dror and Stevan Harnad communities of distributed software agents, interacting among themselves, trawling the net, executing local as well as distributed computations on local and distributed data, and displaying – not just individually but also collectively – performance capacities that, in living organisms like ourselves, we would have taken to be the result of cognizing (Dror 2007).

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