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Some Epistemological Problems with the Knowledge Level in Cognitive Architectures

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Abstract:

This article addresses an open problem in the area of cognitive systems and architectures: namely the problem of handling (in terms of processing and reasoning capabilities) complex knowledge structures that can be at least plausibly comparable, both in terms of size and of typology of the encoded information, to the knowledge that humans process daily for executing everyday activities. Handling a huge amount of knowledge, and selectively retrieve it ac- cording to the needs emerging in different situational scenarios, is an important aspect of human intelligence. For this task, in fact, humans adopt a wide range of heuristics (Gigerenzer and Todd) due to their bounded rationality (Simon, 1957). In this perspective, one of the re- quirements that should be considered for the design, the realization and the evaluation of intelligent cognitively inspired systems should be represented by their ability of heuristically identify and retrieve, from the general knowledge stored in their artificial Long Term Memory (LTM), that one which is synthetically and contextually relevant. This require- ment, however, is often neglected. Currently, artificial cognitive systems and architectures are not able, de facto, to deal with complex knowledge structures that can be even slightly comparable to the knowledge heuris- tically managed by humans. In this paper I will argue that this is not only a technological problem but also an epistemological one and I will briefly sketch a proposal for a possible solution.

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