Consciousness and Robot Sentience

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World Scientific, 2012 - Computers - 240 pages
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Robots are becoming more human, but could they also become sentient and have human-like consciousness?

What is consciousness, exactly?

It is a fact that our thoughts and consciousness are based on the neural activity of the brain. It is also a fact that we do not perceive our brain activity as it really is patterns of neural firings. Instead, we perceive our sensations and thoughts apparently as they are. What kind of condition would transform the neural activity into this kind of internal appearance? This is the basic problem of consciousness.

The author proposes an explanation that also provides preconditions for true conscious cognition the requirement of a direct perceptive system with inherent sub-symbolic and symbolic information processing. Associative neural information processing with distributed signal representations is introduced as a method that satisfies these requirements.

Conscious robot cognition also calls for information integration and sensorimotor integration. This requirement is satisfied by the Haikonen Cognitive Architecture (HCA).

This book demystifies both the enigmatic philosophical issues of consciousness and the practical engineering issues of conscious robots by presenting them in an easy-to-understand manner for the benefit of students, researchers, philosophers and engineers in the field.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1
1
Chapter 2
5
Chapter 3
15
Chapter 4
25
Chapter 5
47
Chapter 6
55
Chapter 7
63
Chapter 8
73
Chapter 14
139
Chapter 15
151
Chapter 16
155
Chapter 17
163
Chapter 18
167
Chapter 19
175
Chapter 20
185
Chapter 21
203

Chapter 9
79
Chapter 10
91
Chapter 11
99
Chapter 12
107
Chapter 13
125
Chapter 22
225
Bibliography
229
Index
235
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About the author (2012)

Dr Pentti Haikonen is an experienced contributor to the field of machine consciousness, conducting research on the topic for over 10 years. He is currently a Principal Scientist in cognitive technology at the Nokia Research Center, Helsinki, and has written the book "The Cognitive Approach to Conscious Machines" (Imprint Academic, 2003) and the book chapter "Artificial Minds and Conscious Machines" in "Visions of Mind: Architectures for Cognition and Affect" (Idea Group Inc., 2005). Haikonen is known for putting forward the theory that "the brain is definitely not a computer. Thinking is not an execution of programmed strings of commands. The brain is not a numerical calculator either. We do not think by numbers." Rather than trying to achieve mind and consciousness by identifying and implementing their underlying computational rules, Haikonen proposes "a special cognitive architecture to reproduce the processes of perception, inner imagery, inner speech, pain, pleasure, emotions, and the cognitive functions behind these." He has given lectures on machine cognition at the Helsinki University of Technology and has several patents and patent applications on cognitive and neural systems.

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