Symbiotic Artificial and Human Cognitive Architectures Managing Human Attention

Thomas Pederson*, Amit Kumar Mishra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)


Wearable digital technologies such as Augmented Reality glasses offer a unique platform not only for monitoring proxies of individual human behaviour data (e.g. eye and body limb movements, posture, location, skin conductivity) but also for affecting behaviour, as instances of persuasive technologies often used to achieve personal human goals, e.g. for integrating physical exercise into everyday life. For artificial computational systems to gracefully affect in-situ human behavior is however associated with several challenges. It requires carefully interfacing digital processes running on the wearable device(s) with biological processes taking place inside the human body (e.g. cognitive, perceptual, motoric). It also needs to work within the constraints of engineering viability, user experience, and ethical constraints. We present our initial attempts to synchronize human biological visual attention processes with eye tracking-based visual stimuli generation in two application domains: for counteracting racial discrimination in the assessment of job applications, and for facilitating assembly tasks. Characteristic for both approaches is that the persuasion is aimed at being completely unnoticeable, at least in the long-term. We then move on to initial ideas for a more general model for integrating perceptual and cognitive functions across the biological-digital border to optimize the system as a whole. More specifically, today’s AI architectures have a hard time achieving human-like high level cognition and perception which, we would argue, could potentially be addressed by a carefully designed symbiotic information exchange between existing human biological symbolic processes run inside the human brain with digital Machine Learning ones being tasked with the simpler sub-symbolic processing. Ethical concerns are, of course, also discussed including the potential reduction of “free will” and the consequences of system failure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures 2023
Subtitle of host publication Proceedings of the 14th Annual Meeting of the BICA Society
EditorsAlexei V. Samsonovich, Tingting Liu
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-50381-8
ISBN (Print)9783031503801
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes
Event14th Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Meeting, BICA 2023 - Ningbo, China
Duration: 13 Oct 202315 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameStudies in Computational Intelligence
Volume1130 LNCS
ISSN (Print)1860-949X
ISSN (Electronic)1860-9503


Conference14th Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Meeting, BICA 2023
Period13 Oct 202315 Oct 2023


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Augmented reality
  • Brain-inspired computing
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Sub-symbolic-AI
  • Symbolic-AI


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