This book offers a concise and accessible introduction to the emerging field of artificial cognitive systems. Cognition, both natural and artificial, is about anticipating the need for action and developing the capacity to predict the outcome of those actions. Drawing on artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, the field of artificial cognitive systems has as its ultimate goal the creation of computer-based systems that can interact with humans and serve society in a variety of ways. This primer brings together recent work in cognitive science and cognitive robotics to offer readers a solid grounding on key issues.
The book first develops a working definition of cognitive systems -- broad enough to encompass multiple views of the subject and deep enough to help in the formulation of theories and models. It surveys the cognitivist, emergent, and hybrid paradigms of cognitive science and discusses cognitive architectures derived from them. It then turns to the key issues, with chapters devoted to autonomy, embodiment, learning and development, memory and prospection, knowledge and representation, and social cognition. Ideas are introduced in an intuitive, natural order, with an emphasis on the relationships among ideas and building to an overview of the field. The main text is straightforward and succinct; sidenotes drill deeper on specific topics and provide contextual links to further reading.