Embodied Intelligence with Rolf Pfeifer (BSP 25)


How the Body Shapes the Way We Think, by Rolf Pfeifer and Josh Bongard

Brain Science Podcast  Episode 25 is an interview of author Rolf Pfeifer, director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich.  The focus of our conversation was the importance of embodiment.  Brains (and intelligence) cannot be understood separate from their interaction with the body and the physical world.  Pfeifer explains how this realization has led the field of artificial intelligence away from a pure computational approach to one he calls embodied artificial intelligence.  His interview is spiced with numerous examples that demonstrate why this approach is relevant to those of us who are interested in the human brain. 

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Episode Highlights:

  • A brief overview of artificial intelligence.
  • Introduction to biorobotics.
  • Why artificial intelligence and biorobotics are relevant to understand the brain.
  • The meaning of complexity and emergence.
  • Why the close coupling of the sensory and motor systems is essential to intelligence.
  • Applying design principles to understanding intelligence.
  • Numerous examples make these potentially intimidating topics accessible to all listeners.
  • I also introduced a new way for listeners to support the Brain Science Podcast 

Related episodes of the Brain Science Podcast:

Scientists mentioned in the podcast:

    Rodney Brooks

    Books by Rodney Brooks:

    Where to learn more about Pfeifer's work: