A Cognitive Substrate for Achieving Human-Level Intelligence

Nicholas L. Cassimatis


Making progress toward human-level artificial intelligence often seems to require a large number of difficult-to-integrate computational methods and enormous amounts of knowledge about the world. This article provides evidence from linguistics, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience for the cognitive substrate hypothesis that a relatively small set of properly integrated data structures and algorithms can underlie the whole range of cognition required for human-level intelligence. Some computational principles (embodied in the Polyscheme cognitive architecture) are proposed to solve the integration problems involved in implementing such a substrate. A natural language syntactic parser that uses only the mechanisms of an infant physical reasoning model developed in Polyscheme demonstrates that a single cognitive substrate can underlie intelligent systems in superficially very dissimilar domains. This work suggests that identifying and implementing a cognitive substrate will accelerate progress toward human-level artificial intelligence.

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