This volume is the direct result of a conference in which a number of leading researchers from the fields of artificial intelligence and biology gathered to examine whether there was any ground to assume that a new AI paradigm was forming itself and what the essential ingredients of this new paradigm were. A great deal of scepsis is justified when researchers, particularly in the cognitive sciences, talk about a new paradigm. Shifts in paradigm mean not only new ideas but also shifts in what constitutes good problems, what counts as a result, the experimental practice to validate results, and the technological tools needed to do research. Due to the complexity of the subject matter, paradigms abound in the cognitive sciences -- connectionism being the most prominent newcomer in the mid-1980s.
This workshop group was brought together in order to clarify the common ground, see what had been achieved so far, and examine in which way the research could move further. This volume is a reflection of this important meeting. It contains contributions which were distributed before the workshop but then substantially broadened and revised to reflect the workshop discussions and more recent technical work. Written in polemic form, sometimes criticizing the work done thus far within the new paradigm, this collection includes research program descriptions, technical contributions, and position papers.
Contents: F.J. Varela, The Re-Enchantment of the Concrete. Part I:Research Programmes. R.A. Brooks, Intelligence Without Reason. L. Steels, Building Agents Out of Autonomous Behavior Systems. T. Smithers, Are Autonomous Agents Information Processing Systems? Part II:Technical Contributions. M.J. Mataric, Integration of Representation Into Goal-Driven Behavior-Based Robots. D. McFarland, Autonomy and Self-Sufficiency in Robots. Part III:Position Papers. J. Hallam, Autonomous Robots: A Question of Design? W.J. Clancey, A Boy Scout, Toto, and a Bird. R. Pfeifer, P. Verschuren, The Challenge of Autonomous Agents: Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them. L.P. Kaelbling, The Importance of Being Adaptable. S. Harnad, Grounding Symbolic Capacity in Robotic Capacity.