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First published July 1 2016

Does Empowerment Maximisation Allow for Enactive Artificial Agents?

Christian Guckelsberger and Christoph Salge

Abstract (Excerpt)

The enactive AI framework wants to overcome the sense-making limitations of embodied AI by drawing on the bio-systemic foundations of enactive cognitive science. While embodied AI tries to ground meaning in sensorimotor interaction, enactive AI adds further requirements by grounding sensorimotor interaction in autonomous agency. At the core of this shift is the requirement for a truly intrinsic value function. We suggest that empowerment, an information-theoretic quantity based on an agents embodiment, represents such a function. We highlight the role of empowerment maximisation in satisfying the requirements of enactive AI, i.e. establishing constitutive autonomy and adaptivity, in detail. We then argue that empowerment, grounded in a precarious existence, allows an agent to enact a world based on the relevance of environmental features in respect to its own identity.