Embodied cognition: the problem with turning our thoughts to a robot or a computer is that we are also our body

Embodied cognition: the problem with turning our thoughts to a robot or a computer is that we are also our body

In science fiction, it is common for a person to turn all his thought, his consciousness, his I, to a robot or a computer. That a machine simulates each and every one of the neural processes so that one goes from existing in the form of atoms to existing in the form of bits .

However, in the real world this would not be so simple because we are not only our brain. This is what is called embodied cognition or bodily cognition. So Neo, in the Matrix, would not be Neo.

Embodied cognition

Thought is the result of the interaction of your brain with the rest of the organs, your particular biochemistry, etc. For example, 95% of all the serotonin that runs through our body is found in the intestine , and the stomach communicates with the brain (bidirectionally) through the vagus nerve .

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Our "I" is a kind of emergent property of our whole body. Just like if you cloned Hitler when he was little, only one of the children would end up being Hitler because the other would be raised in another environment , another body (or another format or platform) is also "another environment".

Embodied cognition is the theory that many features of cognition, human or otherwise, are made up of aspects of the whole body of the organism. Characteristics of cognition include high-level mental constructs and performance in various cognitive tasks.

The embodied mind thesis challenges other theories, such as cognitivism, computationalism, and Cartesian dualism.

The modern version of embodied cognition relies on insights gleaned from recent research in psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, dynamical systems, artificial intelligence, robotics, animal cognition, plant cognition, and neurobiology.

Thus, the transformation or communication of ‘incoming information’, whose acquisition implies ‘exploration and modification of the environment’, intervenes in the cognitive processes themselves, in what we think and how we think about it. As Marcin Miłkowski explains in Explaining the Computational Mind :

It would be a mistake to assume that cognition consists simply of constructing representations of input information with the utmost precision … obtaining knowledge is a stepping stone to achieving the more immediate goal of guiding behavior in response to changing system environments.

Thus, as I explain in the book Artificial Intelligence. The path to ultra-intelligence :

Thus, it has been found that, when you plan to grasp an object, instead of, for example, pointing at it, the brain places the object in space in a different way. That is, the anticipated bodily action alters the previous cognitive process. It has also been shown that when physically acting out a story, the brain retains it much better. Some researchers have even claimed that to understand abstract concepts such as death, family ties, or many mathematical terms, we use our intuitive and unconscious understanding of physical actions such as measuring distances or estimating sizes visually.

Embodied cognition is still a working hypothesis . We don’t know enough about what it means to think, what the "I" is, and a long list of dilemmas that are perhaps more philosophical than scientific.

It is a challenge similar to trying to answer the question: when you teleport, given that they copy each of the particles that constitute you, is the other person that they materialize in another place still you? And if they vaporize the original in the process … are you dead or are you still alive? You can, if you feel like it, delve into this paradox, which connects with Theseus’s ship and the heap of sand of the Megaric philosophers in the following video: