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Knowing, doing, being: cognition beyond problem solving


Specific challenge: This initiative addresses the interdisciplinary fundamentals of knowing, thinking, doing and being, in close synergy with foundational research on future artificial cognitive systems, robots, smart artefacts and large scale cyber-physical systems. It aims at renewing ties between the different disciplines studying knowledge (especially beyond the 'declarative' and static action oriented kind of knowledge), cognition (e.g. perception, understanding, learning, action) and related issues (e.g. embodiment, thinking, development, insight, knowledge as a social construct, identity, responsibility, culture…) from various perspectives (e.g. physical, biological, neuronal, behavioural, social, epistemological, ecological). The aim is to enable new synergies with engineering disciplines on smart and self-organising materials, embedded systems, robotics, hybrid systems or smart infrastructures and cities to take artificial cognitive systems beyond the level of dull task execution or repetitive problem solving.

Scope: Proposals must address at least one of the following elements:

•                New concepts and paradigms in cognitive systems such as new approaches to embodiment, learning, motivation, autonomy, knowledge and mind, not limited to prior anthropocentric or bio-mimetic models. Proposals will aim to demonstrate these paradigms in robust performance of future robotic systems (possibly nano-, micro-, multi-, hybrid- or unconventional ones) in challenging changing environments, possibly co-habited with or linked to biological systems, and over long periods of time.

•                Integrative studies of knowing, thinking, doing and being that bridge between low-level (e.g. neuronal, physiological) and high-level (e.g. belief, intention, identity) descriptions. These multidisciplinary studies are expected to go well beyond addressing the perception-action loop, and to tackle issues such as development, experience, understanding, empathy, memory, attention, the emergence and development of self, social belonging and culture. They are to be researched in close synergy with technological experiments, for instance in computational neuroscience, intelligent materials, robotics, cyber physical settings or large scale simulations that incorporate, test and refine insights gained.

•                Approaches for understanding the long-term development of individual and social knowledge and identities, especially in highly heterogeneous and dynamic settings (reflecting aspects of e.g. diversity, urban change, migration, social and gender divides, multiculturalism, inter-disciplinarity, etc.). Proposals are expected to take into account the role of technologies and infrastructures in this, as well as how these facilitate or hamper societal changes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

•                New foundations for future robotics and other artificial cognitive systems with clear progress beyond current capabilities and design concepts.

•                A deeper understanding of non-performative aspects of development and interaction in mixed human/technological settings.

•                Improved understanding of the impacts of the technologically enhanced environments on the human behaviour, at the individual and collective levels

•                Understanding the origins and development of synergies and divides in socio/technical contexts and ways to influence them.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions