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Profile: Roberto Cordeschi (Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")
  1. Roberto Cordeschi (2013). Automatic Decision-Making and Reliability in Robotic Systems: Some Implications in the Case of Robot Weapons. AI and Society 28 (4):431-441.
    In this article, I shall examine some of the issues and questions involved in the technology of autonomous robots, a technology that has developed greatly and is advancing rapidly. I shall do so with reference to a particularly critical field: autonomous military robotic systems. In recent times, various issues concerning the ethical implications of these systems have been the object of increasing attention from roboticists, philosophers and legal experts. The purpose of this paper is not to deal with these issues, (...)
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  2. Giuseppe Boccignone & Roberto Cordeschi (2012). Predictive Brains: Forethought and the Levels of Explanation. Frontiers in Psychology 3 (511).
    Is any unified theory of brain function possible? Following a line of thought dating back to the early cybernetics (see, e.g., Cordeschi, 2002), Clark (in press) has proposed the action-oriented Hierarchical Predictive Coding (HPC) as the account to be pursued in the effort of gaining the “Grand Unified Theory of the Mind”—or “painting the big picture,” as (Edelman 2012) put it. Such line of thought is indeed appealing, but to be effectively pursued it should be confronted with experimental findings and (...)
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  3. Roberto Cordeschi (2010). Which Kind of Machine Consciousness? International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (01):31-33.
    Aaron Sloman remarks that a lot of present disputes on consciousness are usually based, on the one hand, on re-inventing “ideas that have been previously discussed at lenght by others”, on the other hand, on debating “unresolvable” issues, such as that about which animals have phenomenal consciousness. For what it’s worth I would make a couple of examples, which are related to certain topics that Sloman deals with in his paper, and that might be useful for introducing some comments in (...)
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  4. Roberto Cordeschi (2007). AI Turns Fifty: Revisiting its Origins. Applied Artificial Intelligence 21:259-279.
    The expression ‘‘artificial intelligence’’ (AI) was introduced by John McCarthy, and the official birth of AI is unanimously considered to be the 1956 Dartmouth Conference. Thus, AI turned fifty in 2006. How did AI begin? Several differently motivated analyses have been proposed as to its origins. In this paper a brief look at those that might be considered steps towards Dartmouth is attempted, with the aim of showing how a number of research topics and controversies that marked the short history (...)
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  5. Roberto Cordeschi & Marcello Frixione (2007). Computationalism Under Attack. In M. Marraffa, M. De Caro & F. Ferretti (eds.), Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection. Springer.
    Since the early eighties, computationalism in the study of the mind has been “under attack” by several critics of the so-called “classic” or “symbolic” approaches in AI and cognitive science. Computationalism was generically identified with such approaches. For example, it was identified with both Allen Newell and Herbert Simon’s Physical Symbol System Hypothesis and Jerry Fodor’s theory of Language of Thought, usually without taking into account the fact ,that such approaches are very different as to their methods and aims. Zenon (...)
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  6. Roberto Cordeschi (2006). Searching in a Maze, in Search of Knowledge: Issues in Early Artificial Intelligence. In Lecture Notes In Computer Science, vol. 4155. Springer. 1-23.
    Heuristic programming was the first area in which AI methods were tested. The favourite case-studies were fairly simple toy- problems, such as cryptarithmetic, games, such as checker or chess, and formal problems, such as logic or geometry theorem-proving. These problems are well-defined, roughly speaking, at least in comparison to real-life problems, and as such have played the role of Drosophila in early AI. In this chapter I will investigate the origins of heuristic programming and the shift to more knowledge-based and (...)
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  7. Roberto Cordeschi & Guglielmo Tamburrini (2005). Intelligent Machines and Warfare: Historical Debates and Epistemologically Motivated Concerns. In L. Magnani (ed.), European Computing and Philosophy Conference (ECAP 2004). College Publications.
    The early examples of self-directing robots attracted the interest of both scientific and military communities. Biologists regarded these devices as material models of animal tropisms. Engineers envisaged the possibility of turning self-directing robots into new “intelligent” torpedoes during World War I. Starting from World War II, more extensive interactions developed between theoretical inquiry and applied military research on the subject of adaptive and intelligent machinery. Pioneers of Cybernetics were involved in the development of goal-seeking warfare devices. But collaboration occasionally turned (...)
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  8. Roberto Cordeschi (2002). The Discovery of the Artificial: Behavior, Mind and Machines Before and Beyond Cybernetics. Kluwer.
    The book provides a valuable text for undergraduate and graduate courses on the historical and theoretical issues of Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Neuroscience, and the Philosophy of Mind. The book should also be of interest for researchers in these fields, who will find in it analyses of certain crucial issues in both the earlier and more recent history of their disciplines, as well as interesting overall insights into the current debate on the nature of mind.
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  9. Roberto Cordeschi (2000). Early-Connectionism Machines. Artificial Intelligence and Society 14 (3-4):314-330.
    In this paper I put forward a reconstruction of the evolution of certain explanatory hypotheses on the neural basis of association and learning that are the premises of connectionism in the cybernetic age and of present-day connectionism. The main point of my reconstruction is based on two little-known case studies. The first is the project, published in 1913, of a hydraulic machine through which its author believed it was possible to simulate certain essential elements of the plasticity of nervous connections. (...)
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  10. Roberto Cordeschi, Guglielmo Tamburrini & Giuseppe Trautteur (1999). The Notion of Loop in the Study of Consciousness. In Proceedings of the International School of Biocybernetics. World Scientific.
    The notion of loop seems to be ubiquitous in the study of organisms, the human mind and symbolic systems. With the possible exception of quantum-mechanical approaches, the treatments of consciousness we are acquainted with crucially appeal to the concept of loop. The uses of loops in this context fall within two broad classes. In the first one, loops are used to express the control of the organism’s interaction with the environment; in the second one, they are used to express self-reference. (...)
     
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  11. Roberto Cordeschi (1992). A Few Words on Representation and Meaning. Comments on H.A. Simon's Paper on Scientific Discovery. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (1):19 – 21.
    My aim here is to raise a few questions concerning the problem of representation in scientific discovery computer programs. Representation, as Simon says in his paper, "imposes constraints upon the phenomena that allow the mechanisms to be inferred from the data". The issue is obviously barely outlined by Simon in his paper, while it is addressed in detail in the book by Langley, Simon, Bradshaw and Zytkow (1987), to which I shall refer in this note. Nevertheless, their analysis would appear (...)
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  12. Roberto Cordeschi (1991). The Discovery of the Artificial: Some Protocybernetic Developments 1930-1940. Artificial Intelligence and Society 5 (3):218-238.
    In this paper I start from a definition of “culture of the artificial” which might be stated by referring to the background of philosophical, methodological, pragmatical assumptions which characterizes the development of the information processing analysis of mental processes and of some trends in contemporary cognitive science: in a word, the development of AI as a candidate science of mind. The aim of this paper is to show how (with which plausibility and limitations) the discovery of the mentioned background might (...)
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