School of Computer Science THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM CoSy project CogX project

Evolved Requirements for Cognition
(DRAFT: Liable to change)

Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham.
(Philosopher in a Computer Science department)

Installed: 18 Apr 2011
Last updated: 18 Apr 2011
This paper is
A PDF version may be added later.
Many of the ideas are developed further in presentations here:
    Self-modifying information-processing architectures
    (lecture for undergraduates)
    Genomes for self-constructing, self-modifying information-processing architectures

A partial index of discussion notes is in

Some evolutionary transitions to think about:

Changing relationships between organism and environment


Types of environment with different information-processing requirements

NB: This list illustrates only a tiny subset of the diversity of requirements and designs for information-processing functions and mechanisms in products of biological evolution. There may have been thousands of important transitions in information processing functions and designs in our evolutionary ancestors (some more important than others).

Some of the solutions seem to have been compiled into genomes for species that have survived for a long time. Others seem to have been meta-compiled into parametrisable specifications that are instantiated during development and can cope with novel environments (like human-toddlers using mouse and pointer on a computer -- unlike any of their ancestors).

How information-processing requirements change, depends on both features of the environment and features of the organism (products of previous evolution).

Contrast: how designs change.


Maintained by Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science
The University of Birmingham