Oscar: A cognitive architecture for intelligent agents

The “grand problem” of AI has always been to build artificial agents of human-level intelligence, capable of operating in environments of real-world complexity. OSCAR is a cognitive architecture for such agents, implemented in LISP. OSCAR is based on my extensive work in philosophy concerning both epistemology and rational decision making. This paper provides a detailed overview of OSCAR. The main conclusions are that such agents must be capablew of operating against a background of pervasive ignorance, because the real world is too complex for them to know more than a small fraction of what is true. This is handled by giving the agent the power to reason defeasibily. The OSCAR system of defeasible reasoning is sketched. It is argued that if epistemic cognition must be defeasible, planning must also be done defeasibly, and the best way to do that is to reason defeasibly about plans. A sketch is given about how this might work.
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