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26839Re: [evol-psych] Will fact match fiction as scientists start work on thinking robot?

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  • Stan Franklin
    Sep 1, 2003
      Re: [evol-psych] Will fact match fiction as scientists start work on thinking robot?
      Though my research group <http://csrg.cs.memphis.edu/CSRG/index.html> is one of a half-dozen or so around the world (that I know of) seriously attempting to create machine consciousness, I vowed to stay out of this thread. This morning’s interchange between D’Aprano and Järvilehto (I agree with D’Aprano) has lured me into it with only a couple of points to make.

      For a good account of current thinking on this subject by researchers in and about the field please see the recent special issue of JCS (Holand, O. 2003;\, ed., Machine Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies. 10 (4-5) April-May.<http://www.imprint.co.uk/>) Owen Holland, the guest editor, is the person whose large grant started this tread,.

      [Järvilehto]
      >>  for consciousness to exist, we need much more than the brain
      >> or the machine alone.
      ...
      >> Human
      >> consciousness is based on long developmental history and co-operation
      >> with the other human beings. Therefore, it is impossible to create
      >> consciousness artificially.

      None of us are trying to recreate human consciousness artificially. Human consciousness can only exist in humans, by definition. The consciousness I attribute to my cat is certainly much different than mine. Any artificial consciousness, if such can indeed exist, will surely be much different still.

      [Järvilehto]
      >> This
      >> doesn't mean ... that machines could not
      >> simulate conscious acts.

      Our “conscious” software agent, IDA, (see the web site listed above) is functionally conscious in that she implements the Global Workspace theory of consciousness (Baars, B. J. 1997. In the Theater of Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Baars, B. J. 2002. The conscious access hypothesis: origins and recent evidence. Trends in Cognitive Science 6:47-52.). Is she phenomenally consciousness? That is, does she have subjective experiences? I’d like to know.

      Stan

      --
      Stan Franklin     Dunavant University Professor
      Computer Science             phone 901-678-3142
      Univ of Memphis                fax 901-678-2480
      Memphis, TN 38152          franklin@...
      USA                www.cs.memphis.edu/~franklin
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