RE: [agi] Intelligence by definition

Ben Goertzel
Fri, 03 Jan 2003 05:35:32 -0800

You  make a lot of different points... I'll just grab one for the moment
I don't believe in combining different methods because cognition deals with the unknown, - we can't a priori split it into different areas, except to the extent that they're sensor/hardware specific, or levels, except that syntactic complexity of inputs should be sequentially increased. 
I like to distinguish between *functional specialization* and *integrated cognition*
Novamente (my own AI system) has a mix of cognitive algorithms, which work together to provide overall cognitive functionality.  The exact mixture of algorithms is determined by a bunch of parameters.  This is one example of "integrated cognition".
Functional specialization has to do with there being modules of an intelligent system devoted to particular areas like language processing, vision processing, social interaction, etc.  In the Novamente design, each functionally specialized lobe has its own parameter values which determine the specific mix of cognitive algorithms operating within it.  (We haven't gotten to experimenting with this yet, now we're just experimenting with mixing cognitive algorithms.)
Generally, a mixture of cognitive algorithms is just as capable of dealing with the unknown as a single cognitive algorithm.  Sometimes more so.... 
On the other hand, functional specialization biases one's system to deal with some parts of the space of the unknown better than others. 
This is a plus and a minus, obviously.  Human cognition deals with the truly unknown very slowly and awkwardly.   The human brain is specialized not only based on its sensors and actuators, but also for linguistic processing, social interaction, temporal event processing, etc. etc. etc.  This means that it would not work as well taken outside of its ordinary social and physical situations.  But it means that its limited resources are generally well deployed within its usual environments.
-- Ben Goertzel.