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Robot Brains: Circuits and Systems for Conscious Machines by Pentti O. Haikonen

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5

Machine perception

5.1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Machine perception is defined here as the process that allows the machine to access and interpret sensory information and introspect its own mental content. Sensory perception is seen to involve more than the simple reception of sensory data. Instead, perception is considered as an active and explorative process that combines information from several sensory and motor modalities and also from memories, models, in order to make sense and remove ambiguity. These processes would later on enable the imagination of the explorative actions and the information that might be revealed if the actions were actually executed. There seems to be experimental proof that also in human perception explorative actions are used in the interpretation of percepts (Taylor, 1999; O'Regan and Noë, 2001; Gregory, 2004, pp. 212–218).

Thus, the interpretation of sensory information is not a simple act of recognition and labelling; instead it is a wider process involving exploration, expectation and prediction, context and the instantaneous state of the system. The perception process does not produce representations of strictly categorized objects; instead it produces representations that the cognitive process may associate with various possibilities for action afforded by the environment. This view is somewhat similar to that of Gibson (1966). However, perception is not only about discrete entities; it also allows the creation of mental scenes and maps of surroundings ...

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