Learning and Cognition in Robots with Biological Brains

Kevin Warwick, University of Reading

Abstract:  We will look here at the actual processes involved in using biological cultured (rat or human) neurons to form the brain of a robot. The body of the robot is technological and the brain is purely biological. Questions of cognition and understanding can be studied through practical observation of neural activations and as a result philosophical arguments relating to consciousness and intelligence can be entered into. At the same time learning characteristics of the brain can be witnessed by means of a number of methods, although simple reinforcement learning (stock in trade for many robots) is not that easily brought about.