Section Two

2. The Organism: Responding & Predicting

Once we have the full dynamical story, we can predict the behavior of the robot in its environment completely, and we can do so without making reference to the representational content of any states of its control system.

— Anthony Chemero, p 77 Radical Embodied Cognition, MIT Press 2009

Did the package arrive?

Humans are highly creative with context. That is, contextual tricks to imagine possibilities. It’s a key factor to how we deal with uncertainty. Consider the ‘survey question’ below for what is blank? Like in the game of Family Feud, the most common answer to the question wins the round.

  • “I will know blank as soon as I walk through the door.”

Give a person a situation like this and countless scenarios are imagined. It’s virtually impossible to know what the speaker is referring to. Still, the job of commonsense prediction is about the knowledge of what typically happens; “what the weather is like,”“what’s for dinner,” “If the package arrived.”  We refer to this knowledge as belonging to the Situational Context.

  • Likely scenarios are imagined through basic understandings of the world.

The situational context is the ability to understand circumstances such that a prediction can be made about an event i.e., one responds with knowledge.

  • In our approach, a prediction is one thing, a response is another.

Response in our terms doesn’t refer to understanding. Response refers to accumulated interactions that are instinctively used in different manners of responsiveness: the ability to act quickly and positively to situations. In our approach, responsiveness is innate and part of an organismic level of context.

From response to prediction. A change of plans?

We propose the idea of the Dynamical Context.

Dynamical Context: A basic Description.

Unpacking words with word-sensibility analysis begins with a distinction in the contextualizing of word sense.

Situational Context is the communicative ability to present or understand the objective circumstances in which an event occurs and will sometimes include the appropriate behaviors associated with it.

We introduce the idea of a Dynamical Context which is something different and can be summarized as follows:

  • Dynamical Context: a situation resonates with a preexisting psychology, a predetermined expectation for behavior within that situation, and produces a synergy response, reshaped for the moment.
  • Dynamical Contextual Systems: characterized by the potential for multiple dynamic areas and interactions between them.

The dynamical context can be thought of as an organism’s dynamic sense experiences characterized by the potential interactions between them. This suggests relation to sensory motor capacities. The model is about the relation between the situational context and an organism’s dynamic sense.

It represents responsive adaptations to the environment used to process communication. The process concerns orientation to engage an interaction.

Here are a few more ideas:

  1. Dynamical context value is realized through the situational context.
  2. Its job is to integrate its spatial and temporal dynamics into situations.
  3. By integrating with situations analogs and predictions can take form.

The dynamical context is represented in multi-quadranym systems.

  • A quadranym represents a unit of responsiveness.

Before we illustrate the model, let’s first consider the relevant topic in our example. It’s basically about an agent’s mental state. Imagine that mental state as being a unit of homeostasis between what’s known and unknown.

  • “I will know as soon as I walk through the door.”
Change and movement causes knowing.

Door is the relevant spatial context. The barrier of door is between the knower (self) and what is knowable (event). The objective of what is knowable is only satisfied when the knower goes through the door. Only then is what is knowable satisfied and the unit’s mental stasis is achieved.

  • A script like this can be repurposed in different ways and serve as an analog.

This is basically what we aim to model; motivated homeostatic responses. The research includes anthroposemiotics; sharing intentions and viewpoints.

  • Motivated homeostatic responses provide topical orientations.

A script like this used as an analog is what we call a Topical Trace. In other words, unattended topics can be used as a reference for the attended topic.

The current example will serve to help illustrate the model’s basic features.

  • Example: I will know as soon as I walk through the door.

The example allows us to address many basic features quickly and easily.