Machine Consciousness: Embodiment and Imagination

Clowes, Robert, Torrance, Steve and Chrisley, Ron (2007) Machine Consciousness: Embodiment and Imagination. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 14 (7). pp. 7-14. ISSN 00796123

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The work from several laboratories on the modeling of consciousness is reviewed. This ranges, on one hand, from purely functional models where behavior is important and leads to an attribution of consciousness to, on the other hand, material work closely derived from the information about the anatomy of the brain. At the functional end of the spectrum, applications are described specifically directed at a job-finding problem, where the person being served should not discern between being served by a conscious human or a machine. This employs an implementation of global workspace theories. At the material end, attempts at modeling attentional brain mechanisms, and basic biochemical processes in children are discussed. There are also general prescriptions for functional schemas that facilitate discussions for the presence of consciousness in computational systems and axiomatic structures that define necessary architectural features without which it would be difficult to represent sensations. Another distinction between these two approaches is whether one attempts to model phenomenology (material end) or not (functional end). The former is sometimes called "synthetic phenomenology." The upshot of this chapter is that studying consciousness through the design of machines is likely to have two major outcomes. The first is to provide a wide-ranging computational language to express the concept of consciousness. The second is to suggest a wide-ranging set of computational methods for building competent machinery that benefits from the flexibility of conscious representations.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Robert Clowes
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:23
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 13:17
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