Made-up Minds: A Constructivist Approach to Artificial Intelligence

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MIT Press, 1991 - Computers - 220 pages
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Made-Up Minds addresses fundamental questions of learning and concept invention by means of an innovative computer program that is based on the cognitive-developmental theory of psychologist Jean Piaget. Drescher uses Piaget's theory as a source of inspiration for the design of an artificial cognitive system called the schema mechanism, and then uses the system to elaborate and test Piaget's theory. The approach is original enough that readers need not have extensive knowledge of artificial intelligence, and a chapter summarizing Piaget assists readers who lack a background in developmental psychology.

The schema mechanism learns from its experiences, expressing discoveries in its existing representational vocabulary, and extending that vocabulary with new concepts. A novel empirical learning technique, marginal attribution, can find results of an action that are obscure because each occurs rarely in general, although reliably under certain conditions. Drescher shows that several early milestones in the Piagetian infant's invention of the concept of persistent object can be replicated by the schema mechanism.

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Synopsis of Piagetian development
structure and use
Construction and revision
Synopsis of schema mechanism performance
virtual structures mechanisms
Nonnaive Induction

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About the author (1991)

Kazys Varnelis is Director of the Network Architecture Lab, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, and Member, Founding Faculty, at the School of Architecture, University of Limerick.

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