Categorization and technology innovation
Theories on categorization have led to numerous technical innovations. Starting with artificial intelligence and neural models, scientists have leveraged psychological theories to drive forward innovative technology. More recently, software companies and Internet firms have implemented high technology software developed from cognitive theory. One class of systems rooted in the philosophical tradition stresses the importance of explanation and function. Another focuses on feature similarity and rule-based reasoning. Both approaches have had modest success and solve fundamental problems, but neither has achieved the higher-levels of categorization found in humans. The current paper critically analyzes the various theories of categorization and their collective impact on recent technology innovations.
Keywords: categorization, essentialism, concepts, category modeling, technology, innovation
In: Harnad, Stevan and Itiel E. Dror (eds.), Distributed Cognition. 2006 268 pp. (pp. 343–355)