Cognitive Computing Research Group

Director: Stan Franklin
Website: http://ccrg.cs.memphis.edu

Cognitive Computing refers to building computing systems based on cognitive architectures.  This research group is devoted to developing the LIDA model of cognition and to deriving from it cognitive architectures for software agents and autonomous robots.

An autonomous agent senses and acts upon its environment in the service of its own agenda.  An autonomous agent with human-like cognitive capabilities is called a cognitive agent.  By a "conscious" software agent, we mean one designed within the constraints of Bernard Baars' Global Workspace Theory of Consciousness and Cognition.  The CCRG revolves around the design and implementation of "conscious" software agents and their control of autonomous robots.  Like the Roman god Janus, the "conscious" software projects have two faces, the science face and the engineering face.  The science side fleshes out the global workspace theory into a extensive model of cognition, while the engineering side explores architectural designs for software information agents and mobile robots that promise more flexible, more human-like intelligence within their domains.  The fleshed out global workspace theory is yielding hopefully testable hypotheses about human cognition.  The architectures and mechanisms that underlie consciousness and intelligence in humans can be expected to yield information agents and mobile robots that learn continuously, adapt readily to dynamic environments, and behave flexibly and intelligently when faced with novel and unexpected situations.

The CCRG has enjoyed ~$1.5M in funding from ONR and Navy sources; maintains an active publication schedule of journal articles, book chapters, and conference presentations; and participates in numerous invited and contributed presentations.