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  • 1.
    de Melo, Celso
    et al.
    DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, Playa Vista, USA.
    Petters, Dean
    Sheffield Hallam University, Psychol, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Moffatt, David
    Glasgow Caledonian Univesity, Affect Comp Artificial Intelligence & Serious Gam, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
    Becker-Asano, Christian
    Stuttgart Media University, Artificial Intelligence & Human-robot Interaction HRI, Germany.
    Introduction to the Special Issue on Computational Modelling of Emotion2021In: IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, E-ISSN 1949-3045, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 277-278Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Kaipainen, Mauri
    et al.
    Department of Cognitive Science, University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Hautamäki, Antti
    Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Conceptualization for intended action: A dynamic model2023In: Philosophical Psychology, ISSN 0951-5089, E-ISSN 1465-394X, p. 1-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Concepts are the building blocks of higher-order cognition and consciousness. Building on Conceptual Spaces Theory (CST) and proceeding from the assumption that concepts are inherently dynamic, this paper provides historical context to and significantly elaborates the previously offered Iterative Subdivision Model (ISDM) with the goal of pushing it toward empirical testability. The paper describes how agents in continuous interaction with their environment adopt an intentional orientation, estimate the utility of the concept(s) applicable to action in the current context, engage in practical action, and adopt any new concepts that emerge: a largely pre-intellectual cycle that repeats essentially without interruption over the conceptual agent’s lifetime. This paper elaborates utility optimization by establishing three constraints on concept formation/evaluation – non-redundancy, distinctiveness, and proportionality – embedding them in a quasi-mathematical model intended for development into a formal logic. The notion of a distinctor – a quality dimension of the conceptual space in focus at any given time, used for making what we call a difference distinction – is key. The primary contribution of the revised ISDM is the way it relates concepts to action via utility optimization/actualization and the way it describes the emergence of quality dimensions through trial-by-action (trial and error), something previous presentations of CST have failed to address.

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  • 3.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    A cognitive semiotic perspective on the nature and limitations of concepts and conceptual frameworks2016In: Meaning, Mind and Communication: Explorations in Cognitive Semiotics / [ed] Jordan Zlatev, Göran Sonesson, Piotr Konderak, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2016, p. 47-68Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Known under the potentially misleading rubric of “knowledge representation” in cognitive science, theories of concepts represent both a subfield within philosophy of mind and an application area for cognitive semiotics. They describe the properties of conceptual thought, typically through a listing of those properties: minimally taken to include systematicity, productivity, compositionality, intentionality, and endogenous control. Beyond that point, most things are up for grabs. Debate rages over such questions as whether concepts are representations or abilities; likewise unclear is whether they are essentially public or largely private, discrete or continuous, stable or dynamic, transparent or translucent or opaque. Cognitive semiotics helps clarify discussion over an inevitably abstract area in a number of key ways: through its grounding in semiotics, showing how concepts both are entwined with language (intrinsically public) and pull apart from it; through its roots in phenomenology, showing how concepts both are and are not representations; through its focus on meaning as a dynamic process, showing how concepts’ relative stability belies an underlying dynamics; through its deep resonance with enactive philosophy, showing how concepts impose seemingly sharp boundaries onto underlying continuities; through its bold refusal to shy away from apparent contradictions and paradox, revealing how concepts both reveal the world and simultaneously hide it from us. As a concrete example, I discuss the conceptual nature of metaphor from a cognitive semiotic perspective. I show how – given the problematic nature of so-called literal meaning – the crucial distinction is not between literal and metaphorical meanings, but between tertiary/novel meanings and primary/secondary ones: between meanings that call attention to themselves and those that do not, where only the former are appropriately termed “metaphors”. The lesson is not that all meaning is metaphorical but rather that the line between metaphor and non-metaphor is pragmatic rather than absolute, conceptual rather than ontological.

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  • 4.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    Consciousness, semiosis, and the unbinding problem2017In: Language & Communication, ISSN 0271-5309, E-ISSN 1873-3395, Vol. 54, p. 36-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Any wider discussion of semiosis must address not only how semiosis came about, in terms of evolutionary pressures and requisite cognitive infrastructure, but also – as importantly, and too easily forgotten – how human beings experience and have experienced it, and how that experience reflects (at the same time shaping) its development. Much discussion has focused on resolving how inputs from external sensory modalities combine with internal brain processes to produce unified consciousness: the so-called binding problem. One might wish to distinguish between the coming together of conscious experience in terms of underlying mechanics and the seemingly unavoidable reality that human beings experience a consciousness that is, from the onset, phenomenally unified. The unbinding problem is shown to be potentially just as important to telling the story.

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  • 5.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Intelligence, super-intelligence, superintelligence++, and ChatGPT: Searching for Substance amidst the Hype2023In: Proceedings of the AISB Convention 2023: Swansea University 13/14 April 2023 / [ed] Berndt Müller, The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour , 2023, p. 15-22Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    ChatGPT has been ubiquitous in the news lately: university lecturers bemoaning their inability ever to mark essays again, journalists gushing about how ChatGPT has "soared past" the Turing test in its pursuit of greater challenges. At a time when world-renowned philosophers are sounding alarms about super-intelligent AI, it's a good time to look at the reality in contrast to the hype. Tho position taken by this paper is that, for all the wonders of what ChatGPT can do, it is more like Joseph Weizenbaum's simple-minded Eliza than it is different. A careful discussion of what ChatGPT can and cannot do leads into a fruitful discussion of the nature of intelligence itself and what, if anything, is meant by talk of super-intelligence and super-intelligence++. 

  • 6.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    On the essentially dynamic nature of concepts: Constant if incremental motion in conceptual spaces2019In: Conceptual Spaces: Elaborations and Expectations / [ed] Mauri Kaipainen, Frank Zenker, Antti Hautamäki, Peter Gärdenfors, Cham: Springer, 2019, p. 83-102Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Concepts are the means by which we structure our understanding of the world and consequently the primary means by which we encounter it. It is commonly assumed that one of the essential characteristics of concepts – regardless of referent – is their stability, tending toward stasis;and, indeed, it can be hard to see how concepts can otherwise be systematic and productive, inthe way they are conventionally taken to be. Even the question has been raised whether conceptscan change; on some prominent accounts, they cannot. The Unified Conceptual Space Theory(UCST) – an extension of Conceptual Spaces Theory – makes the controversial claim that conceptsnot only are subject to change over an iterative lifecycle but that, at an underlying level, they are in a state of continuous motion; indeed, they must be to function as they do. Mere openness to change is not enough. Even the most seemingly fixed of concepts – mathematical concepts are the paradigm example – can be seen to evolve and continually be evolving as our understanding of mathematics evolves. UCST suggests that concepts possess an intrinsic tension that appears topresent a contradiction: to be able to apply in more or less the same way across unboundedly many contexts (systematicity) and to be able to combine coherently with other concepts (productivity),they must be relatively stable; and yet, since each new application context is, in some nontrivial way, different from every previous context in ways that do not fit within neat conceptual boundaries,they must adapt each time to fit. In a physical world we have reason to view as ultimately one of fluidity, of processes and motion rather than stable entities, concepts should probably have a similar nature.

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  • 7.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    The Overselling of Super-intelligence: Or, Why Skynet (Probably!) Isn’t Taking Over Any Time Soon2021In: Proceedings of the 16th SweCog Conference / [ed] Erik Billing; Andreas Kalckert, Skövde: University of Skövde , 2021, p. 35-37Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
    Understanding empathy: Metaphysical starting assumptions in the modeling of empathy and emotions2017In: Proceedings of AISB Annual Convention 2017: Society with AI / [ed] Joanna Bryson, Marina De Vos, Julian Padget, Bath, UK: The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) , 2017, p. 263-267Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper has three main purposes: to set out the relationship between empathy and related phenomena, including emotional contagion; to explain how metaphysical starting assumptions regarding the nature of empathy predispose one toward one or another account of these phenomena and toward different interpretations of the same empirical data -- often radically different; and to use recent discussions of empathy in the phenomenological and enactive communities (in particular their rejection of theory of mind accounts) to put forward a radical proposal. In the paradigmatic cases, one feels that one is feeling (at least some substantive portion of) what another person is feeling: “I feel your pain”. But there are certain intense experiences along with certain related but less intense ones where there is, I claim, a single joint experience among two or more individuals. One could call these experiences “extreme” empathy. This is how phenomenologists should, I think, cash out the frequent claim that in many circumstances, one agent “directly” experiences the emotional state of another without requiring the mediation of anything like theory of mind.

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  • 9.
    Parthemore, Joel
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Will the real artist stand up?: Computational creativity as mirror to the human soul2021In: AISB Convention 2021: Communication and Conversations, The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour , 2021, p. 72-78Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that a too-expansive view on creativity is unhelpful at best and deeply misleading at worst. As with “representation”, the word “creativity” comes value-laden in ways that researchers cannot lightly get away from, if they can escape at all; simply claiming that one is using the word in a technical sense is not a solution. Neither should one take an overly narrow view that takes advantage of a priori arguments to deny creativity to classes of agents or putative agents solely by their membership in those classes. The paper proceeds by offering a definition of creativity meant to prejudice neither human being nor artefact; then setting out the conditions for a putative creative agent to be a creative agent, concluding that no existing artefactual agents appear to fall into this category; finally, addressing the question of why computers, computer programs, robots, and related artefacts have nevertheless had a profound – indeed, transformational – effect on human creativity, taking creativity to places that neither human beings nor artefacts could have gone on their own. It ends with a discussion of the person I see as one of the key early voices on computational creativity. 

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  • 10.
    Parthemore, Joel
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Whitby, Blay
    University of Sussex, UK.
    Artefactual ethics as opportunity for rethinking “natural” ethics2022In: Proceedings of the 17th SweCog Conference: Örebro 2022, 16-17 June / [ed] Hadi Banaee; Erik Billing, Skövde: University of Skövde , 2022, , p. 32p. 28-31Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper serves as introduction to a significantly longer paper in progress. It argues that, within the ethics community, the wider philosophical establishment and society in general, people have been far too lax about what to accept as morally “right” behaviour – far too quick to let themselves and, all too often, each other off the hook. By drawing comparisons to artefactual behaviour and the objections people raise to calling that behaviour the morally acceptable behaviour of authentic moral agents, this paper lays out a framework by which human ethics and meta-ethics can more fruitfully be approached. An earlier paper of ours (Parthemore and Whitby, 2014) argued that, for an action to be morally right, one must have a convergence of the right motivations, the right means, and the right consequences. The underlying insight is that deontological, virtue-ethics-based, and consequentialist accounts all have their necessary role to play, but each tends to get too focused on itself and its merits to the loss of the bigger picture; while utilitarian accounts, as perhaps the most prominent division within consequentialism, face the further problem of failing to allow for those occasions where the needs of the few, or the one, outweigh the needs of the many, as Ursula K. LeGuin (1973) so devastatingly addressed. Although the requirement to align motivations, means, and consequences may seem impossibly onerous, it need not be, provided one is prepared to allow that moral behaviour is far more difficult to achieve, either for artefacts or human beings, than it might seem at first glance. Mistakes will be made. Perhaps it matters more to take responsibility for those mistakes than to assure oneself, despite reasonable argument to the contrary, that one has avoided them. It is time to hold artefactual and natural agent alike to a higher standard

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  • 11.
    Parthemore, Joel
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, Systems Biology Research Environment.
    Whitby, Blay
    University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
    Artefactual ethics as opportunity to rethink “natural” ethics2023In: Proceedings of the AISB Convention 2023: Swansea University 13/14 April 2023 / [ed] Berndt Müller, The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour , 2023, p. 107-112Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that, within the ethics community, the wider philosophical establishment and society in general, people have been far too quick to let themselves and, all too often, each other off the hook, at the same time as setting impossibly high standards for artefactual moral agents to meet, such that the artefactual agents should be guaranteed to make no mistakes. If artefacts are ever to be considered candidates for moral agency, then they should be held to no higher (and, at the same time, not significantly lower) a standard than what human beings can achieve. Meanwhile, the prospects of artefactual moral agency invite the opportunity for human moral agents to reconsider the standards they set for themselves and hold themselves to a higher standard. 

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