Recent progress in artificial intelligence has renewed interest in building systems that learn and think like people. Many advances have come from using deep neural networks trained end-to-end in tasks such as object recognition, video games, and board games, achieving performance that equals or even beats that of humans in some respects. Despite their biological inspiration and performance achievements, these systems differ from human intelligence in crucial ways. We review progress in cognitive science suggesting that truly human-like learning and thinking (...) machines will have to reach beyond current engineering trends in both what they learn and how they learn it. Specifically, we argue that these machines should build causal models of the world that support explanation and understanding, rather than merely solving pattern recognition problems; ground learning in intuitive theories of physics and psychology to support and enrich the knowledge that is learned; and harness compositionality and learning-to-learn to rapidly acquire and generalize knowledge to new tasks and situations. We suggest concrete challenges and promising routes toward these goals that can combine the strengths of recent neural network advances with more structured cognitive models. (shrink)
A recently proposed model of sensory processing suggests that perceptual experience is updated in discrete steps. We show that the data advanced to support discrete perception are in fact compatible with a continuous account of perception. Physiological and psychophysical constraints, moreover, as well as our awake-primate imaging data, imply that human neuronal networks cannot support discrete updates of perceptual content at the maximal update rates consistent with phenomenology. A more comprehensive approach to understanding the physiology of perception (and experience at (...) large) is therefore called for, and we briefly outline our take on the problem. (shrink)
A computational theory of consciousness should include a quantitative measure of consciousness, or MoC, that (i) would reveal to what extent a given system is conscious, (ii) would make it possible to compare not only different systems, but also the same system at different times, and (iii) would be graded, because so is consciousness. However, unless its design is properly constrained, such an MoC gives rise to what we call the boundary problem: an MoC that labels a system as conscious (...) will do so for some – perhaps most – of its subsystems, as well as for irrelevantly extended systems (e.g., the original system augmented with physical appendages that contribute nothing to the properties supposedly supporting consciousness), and for aggregates of individually conscious systems (e.g., groups of people). This problem suggests that the properties that are being measured are epiphenomenal to consciousness, or else it implies a bizarre proliferation of minds. We propose that a solution to the boundary problem can be found by identifying properties that are intrinsic or systemic: properties that clearly differentiate between systems whose existence is a matter of fact, as opposed to those whose existence is a matter of interpretation (in the eye of the beholder). We argue that if a putative MoC can be shown to be systemic, this ipso facto resolves any associated boundary issues. As test cases, we analyze two recent theories of consciousness in light of our definitions: the Integrated Information Theory and the Geometric Theory of consciousness. (shrink)
A standing challenge for the science of mind is to account for the datum that every mind faces in the most immediate – that is, unmediated – fashion: its phenomenal experience. The complementary tasks of explaining what it means for a system to give rise to experience and what constitutes the content of experience (qualia) in computational terms are particularly challenging, given the multiple realizability of computation. In this paper, we identify a set of conditions that a computational theory must (...) satisfy for it to constitute not just a sufficient but a necessary, and therefore naturalistic and intrinsic, explanation of qualia. We show that a common assumption behind many neurocomputational theories of the mind, according to which mind states can be formalized solely in terms of instantaneous vectors of activities of representational units such as neurons, does not meet the requisite conditions, in part because it relies on inactive units to shape presently experienced qualia and implies a homogeneous representation space, which is devoid of intrinsic structure. We then sketch a naturalistic computational theory of qualia, which posits that experience is realized by dynamical activity-space trajectories (rather than points) and that its richness is measured by the representational capacity of the trajectory space in which it unfolds. (shrink)
Scientific theories of consciousness identify its contents with the spatiotemporal structure of neural population activity. We follow up on this approach by stating and motivating Dynamical Emergence Theory, which defines the amount and structure of experience in terms of the intrinsic topology and geometry of a physical system’s collective dynamics. Specifically, we posit that distinct perceptual states correspond to coarse-grained macrostates reflecting an optimal partitioning of the system’s state space—a notion that aligns with several ideas and results from computational neuroscience (...) and cognitive psychology. We relate DET to existing work, offer predictions for empirical studies, and outline future research directions. (shrink)
In this article we introduce a logical structure for normative reasoning, called Normative Detachment Structure with Ideal Conditions, that can be used to represent the content of certain legal texts in a normalized way. The structure exploits the deductive properties of a system of bimodal logic able to distinguish between ideal and actual normative statements, as well as a novel formalization of conditional normative statements able to capture interesting cases of contrary-to-duty reasoning and to avoid deontic paradoxes. Furthermore, we illustrate (...) how the theoretical framework proposed can be mechanized to get an automated procedure of query-answering on an example of legal text. (shrink)
The concept of representation has been a key element in the scientific study of mental processes, ever since such studies commenced. However, usage of the term has been all but too liberal—if one were to adhere to common use it remains unclear if there are examples of physical systems which cannot be construed in terms of representation. The problem is considered afresh, taking as the starting point the notion of activity spaces—spaces of spatiotemporal events produced by dynamical systems. It is (...) argued that representation can be analyzed in terms of the geometrical and topological properties of such spaces. Several attributes and processes associated with conceptual domains, such as logical structure, generalization and learning are considered, and given analogues in structural facets of activity spaces, as are misrepresentation and states of arousal. Based on this analysis, representational systems are defined, as is a key concept associated with such systems, the notion of representational capacity. According to the proposed theory, rather than being an all or none phenomenon, representation is in fact a matter of degree—that is can be associated with measurable quantities, as is behooving of a putative naturalistic construct. (shrink)
The proponents of machine consciousness predicate the mental life of a machine, if any, exclusively on its formal, organizational structure, rather than on its physical composition. Given that matter is organized on a range of levels in time and space, this generic stance must be further constrained by a principled choice of levels on which the posited structure is supposed to reside. Indeed, not only must the formal structure fit well the physical system that realizes it, but it must do (...) so in a manner that is determined by the system itself, simply because the mental life of a machine cannot be up to an external observer. To illustrate just how tall this order is, we carefully analyze the scenario in which a digital computer simulates a network of neurons. We show that the formal correspondence between the two systems thereby established is at best partial, and, furthermore, that it is fundamentally incapable of realizing both some of the essential properties of actual neuronal systems and some of the fundamental properties of experience. Our analysis suggests that, if machine consciousness is at all possible, conscious experience can only be instantiated in a class of machines that are entirely different from digital computers, namely, time-continuous, open, analog dynamical systems. (shrink)
The experience of one’s body as one’s own is normally referred to as one’s “bodily sense of ownership”. Despite its centrality and importance in our lives, BSO is highly elusive and complex. Different psychopathologies demonstrate that a BSO is unnecessary and that it is possible to develop a limited BSO that extends beyond the borders of one’s biological body. Therefore, it is worth asking: what grounds one’s BSO? The purpose of this paper is to sketch a preliminary answer to the (...) ‘grounding question.’ Thus, I begin by briefly presenting some contemporary competing hypotheses concerning the ‘grounding question’ and explain why they seem unsatisfying. Second, I discuss the “dual-aspect” of bodily awareness, which is manifest in every normal tactile experience and consists in a subject-object structure of awareness. I then argue that the “dual-aspect” of bodily awareness has the potential of explaining BSO and can, therefore, be considered its grounds. Taking the “dual-aspect” of bodily awareness as the grounds of BSO manages to escape difficulties faced by contemporary hypotheses concerning BSO, fulfills certain necessary demands upon any account of BSO, and explains relevant empirical findings and psychopathologies. Consequently, I argue that it is a hypothesis worth pursuing. (shrink)
This paper explores Kierkegaard’s method of irony and his distinct conception of temporality through the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. It suggests that Kierkegaard makes an ironic use of the term ‘sacrifice.’ Rather than asking us to abandon all human preferential relationships in favor of an abstract love to an anonymous neighbor, it advances the view that Kierkegaard’s prime objective is therapeutic. Kierkegaard seeks to disabuse us of the idea that we can fully possess faith, or indeed, anything meaningful whatsoever, such (...) as the love that pulsates in our hearts for a family member, romantic partner, friend, or even to ourselves. (shrink)
Cushman's rationalization account can be extended to cover another part of his portrayal of representational exchange: thought experiments that lead to conclusions about the self. While Cushman's argument is compelling, a full account of rationalization as adaptive will need to account for the divergence in rationalizing one's actions compared to the actions of others.
: In this commentary we engage with Paul’s Transformative Experience as it relates to decision making. We consider why deciding whether to undergo a transformative experiences can feel so agonizing yet also be so fun, whether people have any preferences to decide over in the first place, and who people even think they are. Keywords: Transformative Experience; Big Decisions; Preference Construction; Theory of Self; Mental Effort Decisioni trasformative e relative insoddisfazioni Riassunto: In questo commento ci concentreremo su come il volume (...) di L.A. Paul Transformative Experience affronta i processi decisionali. Esamineremo perché la decisione se intraprendere un’esperienza trasformativa possa risultare così struggente ed essere altresì divertente; se le persone abbiano in assoluto qualche preferenza nel prendere decisioni definitive e chi le persone persone ritengono di essere. Parole chiave: Esperienza trasformativa; Grandi decisioni; Costruzione delle preferenze; Teoria del sé; Sforzo mentale. (shrink)
As is well understood, the values inherent in the dominant neoclassical economic paradigm are self- interest and optimisation. These are the values that guide individuals and policymakers in advanced capitalist economies in their economic decision making. As a consequence, the economics discipline, arguably, is insufficiently oriented to helping people and organisations make wise choices, choices about what is really and truly in people's best interests. In other words, there is strong reason to believe that economics has a wisdom deficit. This (...) paper draws on great philosophers such as Aristotle to explain what wisdom is and why, although economics is concerned with the normative aspect of decision making, economics has too infrequently been used to help people or their societies make wise decisions. This paper is also concerned with how a society's economic decision-making processes can be improved in order that these processes incorporate a much greater dose of wisdom. One relevant question here is: can we learn with the help of philosophers, psychologists and organisation researchers how to make economic decisions that apply the practical wisdom that Aristotle advocated? This paper's overall purpose is first to point the way toward greater decision-making wisdom, and second to propose one method for improving the wisdom of important economic-related decision making. Hopefully, this paper will serve to put the issue of decision-making wisdom higher on the agenda of economists and, as a consequence, lead to wiser decisions in the economic sphere, thereby reducing the wisdom deficit. (shrink)
_Existential and Spiritual Issues in Death Attitudes_ provides: an in-depth examination of death attitudes, existentialism, and spirituality and their relationships; a review of the major theoretical models; clinical applications of these models to issues such as infertility, bereavement, anxiety, and suicide; and an introduction to meaning management theory and how it can be applied to grief counseling. In this new volume, death is treated both as a threat to meaning and as an opportunity to create meaning. The first section introduces (...) theory and methodology to connect the latest empirical research on death attitudes to the philosophical/psychological existential and spirituality literature. Part II presents the latest empirical research on subjects such as end-of-life decisions and living with HIV. The final section considers therapeutic applications to issues including suicide, infertility, bereavement, and anxiety. The concluding chapter highlights the book’s common themes and provides questions to encourage further investigation of the most critical topics. Psychologists, counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, and religious leaders, as well as academics in the fields of psychology, gerontology, philosophy, religion, counseling, social work, sociology, and medicine will value this new resource. Main points summarize important ideas of each chapter, making it an appropriate text in courses on death and dying and/or and spirituality. Its clinical applications will appeal to practicing professionals. (shrink)
In the present work we illustrate how two sorts of defeasible reasoning that are fundamental in the normative domain, that is, reasoning about exceptions and reasoning about violations, can be simulated via monotonic propositional theories based on a bimodal language with primitive operators representing knowledge and obligation. The proposed theoretical framework paves the way to using native theorem provers for multimodal logic, such as MleanCoP, in order to automate normative reasoning.
Geometrical intuitions spontaneously drive visuo-spatial reasoning in human adults, children and animals. Is their emergence intrinsically linked to visual experience, or does it reflect a core property of cognition shared across sensory modalities? To address this question, we tested the sensitivity of blind-from-birth adults to geometrical-invariants using a haptic deviant-figure detection task. Blind participants spontaneously used many geometric concepts such as parallelism, right angles and geometrical shapes to detect intruders in haptic displays, but experienced difficulties with symmetry and complex spatial (...) transformations. Across items, their performance was highly correlated with that of sighted adults performing the same task in touch (blindfolded) and in vision, as well as with the performances of uneducated preschoolers and Amazonian adults. Our results support the existence of an amodal core-system of geometry that arises independently of visual experience. However, performance at selecting geometric intruders was generally higher in the visual compared to the haptic modality, suggesting that sensory-specific spatial experience may play a role in refining the properties of this core-system of geometry. (shrink)
The two-state-vector formalism presents a time-symmetric approach to the standard quantum mechanics, with particular importance in the description of experiments having pre- and post-selected ensembles. In this paper, using the correspondence limit of the quantum harmonic oscillator in the two-state-vector formalism, we produce harmonic oscillators that possess a classical behavior while having a complex-valued position and momentum. This allows us to discover novel effects that cannot be achieved otherwise. The proposed classical behavior does not describe the classical physics in the (...) usual sense since this behavior is subjected to the feature that only after the final measurement is performed, as a boundary condition, the complex-valued classical effects occur between the initial and the final boundary conditions. This classical behavior breaks down if one does not follow the decided boundary conditions during the experiment, since otherwise, one will contradict the impossibility of retrocausality. (shrink)
COVID-19 Lockdown was particularly challenging for most mothers of people with intellectual disabilities, including those with Rett syndrome, leading to feelings of abandonment from healthcare services of their children. Within those days, telerehabilitation has represented a valid alternative to support physical activity and treatment, supporting parents in structuring their children’s daily routine at home. This article aims to describe the well-being level of two groups of mothers of girls and women with RTT who were involved in a home-based remotely supervised (...) motor rehabilitation program, respectively, before and during the COVID-19 Italian lockdown. Forty participants with classic RTT were recruited before the lockdown and randomly assigned to two groups that performed the intervention immediately before and during the lockdown, respectively. The intervention included an individualized daily physical activity program carried out for 12 weeks by participants’ parents and fortnightly supervised throughout Skype contacts to plan, monitor, and accommodate individual activities in the participant’s life at home. The short form Caregivers Well-Being Scale was collected for the mothers in each group 12 weeks before intervention, at intervention initiation, immediately after intervention termination, as well as at 12 weeks after intervention termination. Mothers of participants in the Group 1 showed a stable level of well-being across all four evaluations with a slight improvement during the lockdown, without significant change. Similarly, the well-being level of mothers in the Group 2 showed a statistically significant increase in their well-being between T2 and T3 and its reduction to the pre-intervention level between T3 and T4. The results suggest that the lockdown did not negatively affect the participants’ mothers’ well-being, leading to its improvement. Moreover, the proposed intervention could have supported the mothers in managing the new daily routine at home, positively affecting maternal well-being. (shrink)
In an increasingly complex military operating environment, next generation wargaming platforms can reduce risk, decrease operating costs, and improve overall outcomes. Novel Artificial Intelligence enabled wargaming approaches, based on software platforms with multimodal interaction and visualization capacity, are essential to provide the decision-making flexibility and adaptability required to meet current and emerging realities of warfighting. We highlight three areas of development for future warfighter-machine interfaces: AI-directed decisional guidance, computationally informed decision-making, and realistic representations of decision spaces. Progress in these areas (...) will enable development of effective human-AI collaborative decision-making, to meet the increasing scale and complexity of today’s battlespace. (shrink)
Here, we revise Pietraszewski's model of groups by assigning participant pairs with two triplets, denoting: the type of game that models the interaction, its critical switching point between alternatives, and the perception of strategic similarity with the opponent. These triplets provide a set of primitives that accounts for individuals' strategic motivations and observed behaviors.