An agent achieves its goals by interacting with its environment, cyclically choosing and executing suitable actions. An action execution process is a reasonable and critical part of an entire cognitive architecture, because the process of generating executable motor commands is not only driven by low-level environmental information, but is also initiated and affected by the agent’s high-level mental processes. This review focuses on cognitive models of action, or more specifically, of the action execution process, as implemented in a set of popular cognitive architectures. We examine the representations and procedures inside the action execution process, as well as the cooperation between action execution and other high-level cognitive modules. We finally conclude with some general observations regarding the nature of action execution.
Significant debate on fundamental issues remains in the subfields of cognitive science, including perception, memory, attention, action selection, learning, and others. Psychology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence each contribute alternative and sometimes conflicting perspectives on the supervening problem of artificial general intelligence (AGI). Current efforts toward a broad-based, systems-level model of minds cannot await theoretical convergence in each of the relevant subfields. Such work therefore requires the formulation of tentative hypotheses, based on current knowledge, that serve to connect cognitive functions into a theoretical framework for the study of the mind. We term such hypotheses “conceptual commitments” and describe the hypotheses underlying one such model, the Learning Intelligent Distribution Agent (LIDA) Model. Our intention is to initiate a discussion among AGI researchers about which conceptual commitments are essential, or particularly useful, toward creating AGI agents.
Natural selection has imbued biological agents with motivations moving them to act for survival and reproduction, as well as to learn so as to support both. Artificial agents also require motivations to act in a goal-directed manner and to learn appropriately into various memories. Here we present a biologically inspired motivation system, based on feelings (including emotions) integrated within the LIDA cognitive architecture at a fundamental level. This motivational system, operating within LIDA’s cognitive cycle, provides a repertoire of motivational capacities operating over a range of time scales of increasing complexity. These include alarms, appraisal mechanisms, appetence and aversion, and deliberation and planning.