School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore,
and Department of Informatics, Nicolas Copernicus University, Poland.
What type of artificial systems will claim to be conscious and will claim to experience qualia? The ability to comment upon physical states of a brain-like dynamical system coupled with its environment seems to be sufficient to make claims. The flow of internal states in such system, guided and limited by associative memory, is similar to the stream of consciousness. Minimal requirements for an artificial system that will claim to be conscious were given in form of specific architecture named articon. Nonverbal discrimination of the working memory states of the articon gives it the ability to experience different qualities of internal states. Analysis of the inner state flows of such a system during typical behavioral process shows that qualia are inseparable from perception and action. The role of consciousness in learning of skills, when conscious information processing is replaced by subconscious, is elucidated. Arguments confirming that phenomenal experience is a result of cognitive processes are presented. Possible philosophical objections based on the Chinese room and other arguments are discussed, but they are insufficient to refute claims articonís claims. Conditions for genuine understanding that go beyond the Turing test are presented. Articons may fulfill such conditions and in principle the structure of their experiences may be arbitrarily close to human.
Published in the Journal of Mind and Behavior, Vol. 26 (1-2), 1-22, 2005
Preprint for comments in PDF, 105 KB.
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