Using Turing Oracles in Cognitive Models of Problem-Solving

  • Jonathan Bartlett


At the core of engineering is human problem-solving. Creating a cognitive model of the task of problem-solving is helpful for planning and organizing engineering tasks. One possibility rarely considered in modeling cognitive processes is the use of Turing Oracles. Copeland (1998) put forth the possibility that the mind could be viewed as an oracle machine, but he never applied that idea practically. Oracles enable the modeling of processes in the mind which are not computationally based. Using oracles resolves many of the surprising results of computational problem-solving which arise as a result of the Tractable Cognition Thesis and similar mechanistic models of the mind. However, as research into the use of Turing Oracles in problem-solving is new, there are many methodological issues.