A long term project attempting to understand the mechanisms and intermediate stages in evolution of biological information processing, including precursors of human intelligence.
Professor Aaron Sloman
Unfunded. There are no plans to apply for funding.
Attempt to understand biological intelligent systems and possible future intelligent robots with similar capabilities, by investigating the major transitions in biological information processing from pre-biotic materials onwards. The transitions include changes in opportunities and problems posed by the environment, changes in sensory-motor morphology, changes in information content aquired, stored, derived, and used, changes in forms of representation, changes in mechanisms for manipulating information, changes in forms of information and mechanisms used in reproduction, changes in forms of learning, both across generations and within individuals, and changes in social/cultural forms of information processing and information transmission, including teaching and education.
Wild speculation tamed by philosophical analysis, study of literature, critical analysis and, when possible, experiments on humans and other animals. Eventually construction of working intelligent systems will be required, when ideas become sufficiently precise. There is already a vast amount of relevant literature, from many disciplines, including ethology, developmental psychology, linguistics, AI, Robotics and philosophy.