Autonomous Mental Development by Robots and Animals

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Science  26 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5504, pp. 599-600
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5504.599

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The scope of mental development includes cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and all other mental capabilities that are exhibited by humans, higher animals, and artificial systems. Computational principles of autonomous mental development in humans and the synthesis of developmental programs for robots and other artificial systems are beginning to be actively studied. Robots that develop their mental skills autonomously represent a fundamental change from the traditional paradigm for constructing intelligent machines. Support for this new field should lead to advances in science, engineering, economy, and understanding of the mind.