Temporal cognition: a key ingredient of intelligent systems

Front Neurorobot. 2011 Sep 19;5:2. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2011.00002. eCollection 2011.


Experiencing the flow of time is an important capacity of biological systems that is involved in many ways in the daily activities of humans and animals. However, in the field of robotics, the key role of time in cognition is not adequately considered in contemporary research, with artificial agents focusing mainly on the spatial extent of sensory information, almost always neglecting its temporal dimension. This fact significantly obstructs the development of high-level robotic cognitive skills, as well as the autonomous and seamless operation of artificial agents in human environments. Taking inspiration from biological cognition, the present work puts forward time perception as a vital capacity of artificial intelligent systems and contemplates the research path for incorporating temporal cognition in the repertoire of robotic skills.

Keywords: brain-inspired cognition; robotic systems; sense of time; time perception; time processing.