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Hardcover | $50.00 X | £41.95 | 288 pp. | 8 x 9 in | 27 line drawings | October 2014 | ISBN: 9780262028387
eBook | $50.00 X | October 2014 | ISBN: 9780262326681
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Artificial Cognitive Systems

A Primer


This book offers a concise and accessible introduction to the emerging field of artificial cognitive systems. Cognition, both natural and artificial, is about anticipating the need for action and developing the capacity to predict the outcome of those actions. Drawing on artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, the field of artificial cognitive systems has as its ultimate goal the creation of computer-based systems that can interact with humans and serve society in a variety of ways. This primer brings together recent work in cognitive science and cognitive robotics to offer readers a solid grounding on key issues.

The book first develops a working definition of cognitive systems—broad enough to encompass multiple views of the subject and deep enough to help in the formulation of theories and models. It surveys the cognitivist, emergent, and hybrid paradigms of cognitive science and discusses cognitive architectures derived from them. It then turns to the key issues, with chapters devoted to autonomy, embodiment, learning and development, memory and prospection, knowledge and representation, and social cognition. Ideas are introduced in an intuitive, natural order, with an emphasis on the relationships among ideas and building to an overview of the field. The main text is straightforward and succinct; sidenotes drill deeper on specific topics and provide contextual links to further reading.

About the Author

David Vernon is Professor at Carnegie Mellon University Africa, Rwanda, and  a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


“Given the current popularity of ‘cognitive computing’ in industry and in academia alike, it is indeed very timely to present a broad overview of computational cognitive systems, and, in particular, computational cognitive architectures. The author offers a wide-ranging survey of interesting ideas relevant to this emerging field. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the state of the art of this area of study, and in how general principles of the brain/mind may be articulated and applied.”
Ron Sun, Professor of Cognitive Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; author of Duality of the Mind
“David Vernon covers all the bases in this fascinating primer on constructing cognitive agents. For possibly the first time, the many different approaches and views of what ingredients are necessary to build an artificial cognitive system, and what it means to be cognitive, are discussed. A tour de force!”
Jeffrey L. Krichmar, Professor, Department of Cognitive Sciences and Department of Computer Science, University of California, Irvine
“Fresh and inspiring! This book flies you over some of the most exciting new frontiers of artificial cognitive systems, such as embodiment, emergence, and development. I recommend it to anybody who is interested in a casual tour of artificial cognition, which is now fundamentally different from 25 years ago!”
Juyang Weng, Professor of Computer Science, Cognition and Neuroscience, Michigan State University; author of Natural and Artificial Intelligence