Evolution and learning: An epistemological perspective [Book Review]

Axiomathes 6 (3):429-437 (1995)
The deep formal and conceptual link existing between artificial life and artificial intelligence can be highlighted using conceptual tools derived by Karl Popper's evolutionary epistemology.Starting from the observation that the structure itself of an organism embodies knowledge about the environment which it is adapted to, it is possible to regard evolution as a learning process. This process is subject to the same rules indicated by Popper for the growth of scientific knowledge: causal conjectures (mutations) and successive refutations (extinction). In the field of machine learning such a paradigm is represented by genetic algorithms that, simulating biological processes, emulate cognitive processes. From a practical viewpoint, that perspective allows to identify the two different kinds of learning considered by artificial intelligence, knowledge acquisition and skill improvement, and to get a different view of the problem of heuristic knowledge in learning systems. From a theoretical point of view, these considerations can shade a new light on an old epistemological problem: why do we live in a learnable world?
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DOI 10.1007/BF02228987
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