The capacity to attend to the relevant has been part of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems since the early days of the discipline. Currently, with respect to the design and computational modeling of artificial cognitive systems, selective attention has again become a focus of research, and one sees it important for the organization of behaviors, for control and interfacing between sensory and cognitive information processing, and for the understanding of individual and social cognition in humanoid artifacts. While visual cognition obviously plays a central role in human perception, findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology have informed us on the perception-action nature of cognition. In particular, the embodiment in sensory-motor intelligence requires a continuous spatio-temporal interplay between interpretations from various perceptual modalities and the corresponding control of motor activities. In addition, the process of selecting information from the incoming sensory stream, in tune with contextual processing on a current task and global goals, becomes a challenging control issue within the viewpoint of focused attention. Seemingly attention systems must operate at many levels and not only at interfaces between a bottom-up driven world interpretation and top-down driven information selection.
CITEC (Cognitive Interaction Technology, Center of Excellence, Bielefeld University) and DIGITAL – Institute for Information and Communication Technologies, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH