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Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020014

The Problem of Meaning in AI and Robotics: Still with Us after All These Years

1
Institute of Applied Mathematics and Systems Research (IIMAS), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City 04510, Mexico
2
Center for the Sciences of Complexity (C3), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City 04510, Mexico
3
Faculty of Humanities and Human Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract

In this essay we critically evaluate the progress that has been made in solving the problem of meaning in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. We remain skeptical about solutions based on deep neural networks and cognitive robotics, which in our opinion do not fundamentally address the problem. We agree with the enactive approach to cognitive science that things appear as intrinsically meaningful for living beings because of their precarious existence as adaptive autopoietic individuals. But this approach inherits the problem of failing to account for how meaning as such could make a difference for an agent’s behavior. In a nutshell, if life and mind are identified with physically deterministic phenomena, then there is no conceptual room for meaning to play a role in its own right. We argue that this impotence of meaning can be addressed by revising the concept of nature such that the macroscopic scale of the living can be characterized by physical indeterminacy. We consider the implications of this revision of the mind-body relationship for synthetic approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: mind-body problem; 4E cognition; cognitive robotics; artificial life; minimal cognition; dynamical approach; enactive approach; complex systems mind-body problem; 4E cognition; cognitive robotics; artificial life; minimal cognition; dynamical approach; enactive approach; complex systems
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Froese, T.; Taguchi, S. The Problem of Meaning in AI and Robotics: Still with Us after All These Years. Philosophies 2019, 4, 14.

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