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Epistemic Autonomy in Models of Living Systems

Erich Prem

This paper discusses epistemological consequences of embodied AI for Artificial Life models. The importance of robotic systems for ALife lies in the fact that they are not purely formal models and thus have to address issues of semantic adaptation and epistemic autonomy, which means the system's own ability to decide upon the validity of measurements. Epistemic autonomy in artificial systems is a difficult problem that poses foundational questions. The proposal is to concentrate on biological transformations of epistemological questions that have lead to the development of modern ethology. Such an approach has proven to be useful in the design of control systems for behavior-based robots. It leads to a better understanding of modern ontological conceptions as well as a reacknowledgement of finality in the description and design of autonomous systems.

Keywords: Epistemic Autonomy, Embodied AI, Epistemology, Robotics, Theoretical Biology, Finality, Teleology, Ontology

Citation: Prem E.: Epistemic Autonomy in Models of Living Systems, Proc. of the Fourth Europ.Conf. on Artif.Life, MIT Press/Bradford Books, 1997.