The present paper stems from the biosemiotic modelling of individual artificial cognition proposed by Ferreira and Caldas (2012) but goes further by introducing the concept of Umwelt Overlap. The introduction of this concept is of fundamental importance making the present model closer to natural cognition. In fact cognition can only be viewed as a purely individual phenomenon for analytical purposes. In nature it always involves the crisscrossing of the spheres of action of those sharing the same environmental bubble. Plus, the (...) incorporation of that concept is vital to understand the complex semiosis that sustains collective tissues, societies, regulating collective cognition and consequently cooperative action. The concept of Umwelt Overlap broadens the range of applicability of the previous model to several distinct domains allowing for example for its application to multi-agent cooperative autonomous systems. In this paper a Middle Size League RoboCup soccer team is used as an example of a possible application. (shrink)
A life form and its environment constitute an essential unit, a microcosm. This microcosm is sustained by a privileged dialectic relationship in which the embedded agent- an entity endowed with a particular physical architecture- and its specific environment, coupled, mutually influence each other. Identical principles rule both the basic forms of semiotic organisation and the upper forms. When we distinguish these two levels of semiotic structuring we are distinguishing the semiotic relations that involve a stimulus-response relationship, which is dyadic in (...) nature, from those that involve a more complex relationship where the capacity of symbolically encoding allows organisms to go beyond the immediacy of sensory awareness. However in all instances of semiotic structuring, there is the presence of a living system that evolves in an environment individuating and assigning a value to typical environmental features. Acknowledging this fact is crucial: the inquiry into how elemental life forms interact with their environments leads to the identification of the fundamental role played by the physical architecture of the agent and sheds light on the semiotic process that is common to all life forms, ultimately highlighting the very nature of meaning and reality. (shrink)
Stemming from Uexkull’s fundamental concepts of Umwelt and Innenwelt as developed in the biosemiotic approach of Ferreira 2010, 2011, the present work models mathematically the semiosis of cognition and proposes an artificial cognitive architecture to be deployed in a robotic structure.
The dynamics inherent to the life activity of all living systems presents itself in the form of regular patterns viewed by the observer as taking place in an extended timeline. Routines, rituals and celebrations, each in their own way, are defined by the typical cyclical behavioural patterns exhibited by individuals embedded in specific semiospheres. The particular nature of these semiospheres will determine the distinct patterns of behaviour to be adopted in different life contexts so that existential functions are fulfilled. The (...) restricted and protected family circle normally provides the initial learning environment where the definition of the individual’s Umwelt (von Uexküll 1909, 1934; Ferreira, Biosemiotics 3(1):107–130, 2010, 2011) his/her meaningful world, starts to take shape. This learning process comprehends the progressive identification of distinct physical entities, the development of basic patterns of physical and social behaviour- the incorporation of basic routines and the assignment of meaning to particular events. (shrink)
In this paper architectural forms are presented as symbolic forms issued from the complex semiosis that characterises human cognition (Ferreira (2007, 2010)). Being semiotic objects, these symbolic forms are, consequently, context- dependent_they emerge and have meaning, i.e., they are assigned a functional and/or aesthetic value, in particular physical, social and cultural frameworks. As it happens with all semiotic objects, architectural forms, whatever their nature, are not static but highly interactive. In fact, they act as agents of specific semiotic processes, engaged (...) in a permanent dialectic relationship with the environment they are embedded in. From this dialectics important physical, social, cultural and economic changes frequently arise, redefining this way the original framework for decades to come. As Pallasmaa (2009) points out: “Architecture is existentially rooted, and it expresses fundamental existential experiences, the complex condensation of how it feels to be human being in this world. Architecture grounds and frames existence and creates specific horizons of perception, understanding and identity.” Architecture happens in the context of particular landscapes both natural and man-made, individuating spaces, assigning them an identity, turning the frequently undifferentiated physical environment into “locus”, “place”, “site”, “ort”, definitely contributing to the definition of the mental map that individual minds are able to share collectively. The fundamental role played by architectural forms in the definition of “place” and identity and in the shaping or reshaping of a physical, social and cultural environment is analysed in this paper through a case study that observes the consequences of this dynamics in the development of the social and cultural tissue of a particular city. (shrink)