Development of a Large-Scale Integrated Neurocognitive Architecture Part 1: Conceptual Framework

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The idea of creating a general purpose machine intelligence that captures many of the features of human cognition goes back at least to the earliest days of artificial intelligence and neural computation. In spite of more than a half-century of research on this issue, there is currently no existing approach to machine intelligence that comes close to providing a powerful, general-purpose human-level intelligence. However, substantial progress made during recent years in neural computation, high performance computing, neuroscience and cognitive science suggests that a renewed effort to produce a general purpose and adaptive machine intelligence is timely, likely to yield qualitatively more powerful approaches to machine intelligence than those currently existing, and certain to lead to substantial progress in cognitive science, AI and neural computation. In this report, we outline a conceptual framework for the long-term development of a large-scale machine intelligence that is based on the modular organization, dynamics and plasticity of the human brain. Some basic design principles are presented along with a review of some of the relevant existing knowledge about the neurobiological basis of cognition. Three intermediate-scale prototypes for parts of a larger system are successfully implemented, providing support for the effectiveness of several of the principles in our framework. We conclude that a human-competitive neuromorphic system for machine intelligence is a viable long- term goal, but that for the short term, substantial integration with more standard symbolic methods as well as substantial research will be needed to make this goal achievable.