An autonomous agent senses and acts upon its environment in the service
of its own agenda. An autonomous agent with human-like cognitive capabilities
is called a cognitive agent. By a "conscious" software agent,
we mean one designed within the constraints of Bernard Baars' Global
Workspace Theory of consciousness and cognition. The CCRG’s
research revolves around the design and implementation of cognitive,
sometimes "conscious," software agents, their computational
applications, and their use in cognitive modeling.
Like the Roman god Janus, cognitive computing projects can have
two faces, their science face and their engineering face. The science
face fleshes out the global workspace theory of consciousness into
a full cognitive model of how minds work. (Please see the tutorial.)
The engineering face of cognitive computing explores architectural
designs for software information agents and cognitive robots that
promise more flexible, more human-like intelligence within their
domains. This fleshed out global workspace theory is yielding hopefully
testable hypotheses about human cognition. The architectures and
mechanisms that underlie intelligence and consciousness in humans
can be expected to yield information agents, and cognitive robots
that learn continualy, adapt readily to dynamic environments, and
behave flexibly and intelligently when faced with novel and unexpected
situations. Applications, both in progress and planned, are to various
fields, including cognitive robotics and querying image databases
with images rather than text.
A more recent LIDA cogntive cycle diagram can be downloaded as a zip file.
An update to the LIDA software framework, version 1.2 beta, is now available for download!
Check it out here.