Artificial Consciousness

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Antonio Chella, Riccardo Manzotti
Imprint Academic, 2007 - Computers - 284 pages

The book is interdisciplinary and focuses on the topic of artificial consciousness: from neuroscience to artificial intelligence, from bioengineering to robotics. It provides an overview on the current state of the art of research in the field of artificial consciousness and includes extended and revised versions of the papers presented at the International Workshop on 'Artificial Consciousness', held in November 2005 at Agrigento (Italy).

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Given the preface's concession that artificial consciousness is where artificial intelligence (AI) was 50 years ago, and given that AI is not widely regarded as being very advanced even now, one ... Read full review


Artificial and Natural Consciousness
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About the author (2007)

Antonio Chella was born in Florence on March 4, 1961. In 1988 he obtained his laurea degree cum laude in Electronic Engineering from the University of Palermo and in 1993 he obtained his PhD in Computer Engineering defending a thesis on neural networks for robot vision. From 1992 to 1998 he was a scientific researcher at the University of Palermo, where he became an associate professor in 1998 and a professor in robotics in 2001.He is the head of Robotics Lab of the Department of Chemical, Management, Computer, Mechanical Engineering (DICGIM) of the University of Palermo. His main research interests concern machine consciousness and cognitive architectures for robotics. He is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Machine Consciousness.

My main interest is the understanding the nature of consciousness. To do so, I believe that we need to change our fundamental categories. The road I envisage passes through the technological land of robotics as well as the misty shadows of theoretical philosophical analysis. We hope I won't get lost along the journey. There is no more important quest than consciousness. For the conscious mind is the point of the universe where knowledge and being are one and the same.In order to to understand consciousness, we need to understand reality. To understand reality we need two steps: hypotheses and empirical verifications. The scientific tradition narrowed the field of empirical evidence at only the objective facts. In order to understand what consciousness is, a new ontological standpoint is needed and, in order to verify such ontological premises a new kind of experiments must be envisaged.To verify a theory of consciousness, empirical experiments are needed. Two possibilities are feasible. The first one is interfering with the conscious subjective experience of human beings. To design an experiment in which it is possible to predict and describe in advance a change in content in a subject's experience. The second option is to build an artificial being with a structure that can be related with the development of a true subject. This second approach is followed by implementing an architecture coherent with the new ontology.

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