Bio A.I. - from embodied cognition to enactive robotics

Adam Safron*, Dr Ines Hipolito, Andy Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

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If the connections of the human brain were disentangled and placed into a sequence, they would indeed be wider than the sky, being hundreds of kilometers long and likely capable of stretching to the moon and back. If we consider the kinds of intelligence generated by brain-body-environment systems, then such emergent minds may be vaster still in terms of their complex combinatorics, with the pinnacle of expressive power potentially being found in language with its “infinite use of finite means”. The field of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) seeks to reproduce the powers of biological learners, where we struggle to recapitulate the ways in which even supposedly simple animals demonstrate the ability to respond flexibly to a wide range of situations. In this Research Topic, we were grateful to receive a diverse assortment of articles that address ways in which principles of enactivism and embodied cognition might allow for advances in AI/ML, potentially without requiring explicit representations, pre-specified algorithms, or centralized control structures. In what follows, we briefly summarize these contributions, highlight some potential implications, and end with a discussion of potential ways forward for AI/ML and cognitive science more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1301993
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Neurorobotics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • embodied cognition
  • robotics
  • AI
  • dynamical systems
  • e-cognition
  • embodiment
  • enactivism
  • active learning
  • representation
  • artificial general intelligence


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