Andrea Clarici – Cognitive and Affective Automation

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 by Stefan Kohlhauser

Andrea Clarici

Andrea Clarici

Technical systems get into serious troubles, if they are confronted with a certain degree of complexity. An analytical, deterministic description of a complex problem is often not possible, and so its solution. This is especially true for automation systems of the future. Far away from scalar control loops and PLC (programmable logic controller) based machinery control, future systems are supposed to process a tremendous amount of information coming from millions of sensors and complex information sources like cameras. Large numbers of inexpensive and diverse sources of information can increase the performance of automation tasks in buildings, factories, transport systems, or machinery. However, the complex and uncertain semantics of such large amounts of data make bit-by-bit processing and traditional rule-based decisions impossible. A new trail from the sensor to the decision is necessary.

This paper describes a bionic approach to this problem. The human mind, as described in the latest findings of neurology and psychoanalysis, gives a blueprint of a system that is potentially capable of filtering, evaluating, and judging situations and scenarios. The relationship between system/environment interactions, memory, emotions, learning, and higher mental processes is believed to be the key for the success of our species. Translating psychoanalytic insights of the mind to computers and machinery is a big challenge, but there is the promise of creating a more capable technical systems.

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