Minds and Machines

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 363–383 | Cite as

A View on Human Goal-Directed Activity and the Construction of Artificial Intelligence



Although activity aimed at the construction of artificial intelligence started about 60 years ago however, contemporary intelligent systems are effective in very narrow domains only. One of the reasons for this situation appears to be serious problems in the theory of intelligence. Intelligence is a characteristic of goal-directed systems and two classes of goal-directed systems can be derived from observations on animals and humans, one class is systems with innately and jointly determined goals and means. The other class contains systems that are able to construct arbitrary goals and means. It is suggested that the classes (that implicitly underlie most models of artificial intelligence) are insufficient to explain human goal-directed activity. A broader approach to goal-directed systems is considered. This approach suggests that humans are goal-directed systems that jointly synthesize arbitrary goals and means. Neural and psychological data favoring this hypothesis and its experimental validation are considered. A simple computer model based on the idea of joint synthesis to simulate goal-directed activity is presented. The usage of the idea of joint synthesis for the construction of artificial intelligence is discussed.


Goal-directed activity Intelligence Synthesis Self-organization 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecomon Ltd.MoscowRussia

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