An Ontological Perspective to Scaling Sensorimotor Intelligence

C. Ferrell and C. Kemp

In contrast to many autonomous agent programs that are shaped by an evolutionary or ethological perspective, we propose a research program that pursues an ontogenetic path. We argue that the field of developmental psychology gives fresh insight into the issues of cognitive and behavioral scaling. It offers a viable alternate viewpoint from which to study embod-iment, situatedness, emergence, environmental com-plexity, and goal-oriented action in the world, illumi-nating the critical roles they may play in bootstrapping a child to more sophisticated levels of mental competence. Our contention is that a developmental perspec-tive to autonomous agent design profoundly affects the implemented control architecture, mechanisms, subsystems, and internal structures in ways which distinguish an ontogenetic system from other learning-based systems.

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