than a central symbol-oriented intellect, was revolutionary. Genghis’s success challenged approaches such as that used for Shakey, the proto- type for a proposed battlefield unit, which proved an unworkable example of GOFAI. Now the idea of embodiment is at the core of one approach to the design of intelligent mobile beings.
Rodney Brooks’s experience with Genghis, Cog, and other ro- bots has made him a leading proponent of the significant interaction between synthetic body and artificial mind. His beings are built with two central principles in mind. One is situatedness, meaning (as
Brooks defines it), the creature or robot is . . . embedded in the world
. . . [it] does not deal
with abstract descriptions, but through its sensors with the here and now of the world, which directly influences the behavior of the creature.
The other is embodiment, meaning that,
the creature or robot . . . has a physical body and experiences the world, at least in part, directly through the influence of the world on that body.
As examples, Brooks points out that a computerized airline reserva- tion system is situated but not embodied: It deals with the outside world, but only by means of messages. An assembly-line robot that spray-paints cars, however, is embodied but not situated:It has a physi- cal presence that accomplishes a real task, but makes no judgments about the cars it paints, and is unaffected by them, simply repeating the same actions over and over.
Brooks foresees a situated robot with a well-equipped body that could develop a conceptual understanding of the world in the same way we do. In 1994, he proposed that a humanoid robot with capa- bilities including vision, hearing, and speech, and the ability to physi- cally manipulate objects, would “build on its bodily experience to accomplish progressively more abstract tasks.”This possibility is sup- ported by ideas from cognitive science, such as Israel Rosenfeld’s ap- proach, which gives great weight to the physical body in determining memory and consciousness.
The cognitive scientists George Lakoff and Mark Johnson are even more specific. In their 1999 book Philosophy in the Flesh: The