Cognitive Science and Its Link to Artificial Intelligence
In recent years, researchers in the field of psychology have turned their collective attention to the developing field of cognition. The term comes from the Latin word cognoscere, meaning “to come to know”, and today is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the act or process of knowing, including both awareness and judgment”. Cognitive psychology seeks to identify and examine the elements composing human intelligence. This includes the study of human learning or intellectual development, problem solving, memory, the human language, and the processing and comprehension of information. These functions are often taken for granted as part of human existence. Yet, when thoroughly investigated, these inner-workings of the human brain reveal patterns, methods, and, in general, a science behind the rather ethereal term “intelligence”. For this reason, cognitive psychology is of great interest to researchers in the field of artificial intelligence. If intelligence can be identified in human cognition, then there is a valid chance that that same intelligence can be transferred and re-created in a programmed computer. The development of cognitive psychology has lead to related fields of cognitive neurology, or cognitive neuro-psychology, wherein neurologists study the brain biology behind these cognitive human functions. This paper, however, will not discuss that element of cognition because of its complexity and breadth. Instead, language and problem solving will be highlighted and discussed as two important cognitive functions of humans, and will conclude by discussing the connection between the human mind and artificial intelligence.
Language is a central element of human life. Communication is an essential part of our everyday activities. We use it to read, write, speak, and listen. A world without language seems inconceivable. But how is language connected to our thoughts? A central controversy in linguistics surrounds the relationship between our language and our thoughts. Does thought determine language, or does language determine thought? To analyze this question, linguists have first examined the structure of human language.
Language can be broken down into several layers of linguistic elements. Phonetics is the most elementary. Phones are the sounds produced by the human articulatory system. All humans can articulate the same set of phones, but languages differ in their individual use of this set.  The two main categories of phones are consonants and vowels. These phones differ greatly in the place of articulation a human makes in producing them, as well as manner of articulation, tongue height and tongue position. Phonetics leads to phonology, which specifies how different phonetic sounds produce word differentiation. A phoneme is a collection of similar sounding phones that are perceived by the human ear as a single distinctive...