Research questions

The following main research questions will be addressed:

  1. What are driving principles for intelligence in biological systems, and what are their roles? (chapter 2)
  2. Can we implement these principles artificially? (chapter 3)
  3. Do they give rise to intelligence? (chapter 4)

Chapter 2 will deal with the first question, by exploring anthropological and biological views on evolution and the brain. Principles such as evolution and neuronal structures will be identified as essential to intelligent.

The second question, `Can we implement these driving principles artificially?', calls for answering a couple of subsequent questions:

  1. What biologically-inspired systems have already been built?
  2. To which degree are they biologically realistic?
  3. What are currently barriers to implementation?

The third major question of this research (chapter 4), necessarily a philosophically loaded question, will not be answered conclusively. Instead, two views on the possibilities and limitations of evolution and the mind are discussed.

This thesis is a review of the literature concerning the above questions. Literature was selected based on frequencies of citation and general popularity and availability of criticism. An exception is the experiment on evolving morphology of virtual creatures by Goldstein, it is not well known. I have repeated the experiment and the experiment is similar the more widely known work of Karl Sims1.5. In the relatively small experiment, Goldstein brings forward an important lesson learned that I wish to present.

Erik de Bruijn 2007-10-19