Axioms, properties and criteria: Roles for synthesis in the science of consciousness

Clowes, Robert W and Seth, Anil K (2008) Axioms, properties and criteria: Roles for synthesis in the science of consciousness. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 44 (2). pp. 91-104. ISSN 0933-3657

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Synthetic methods in science can aim at either instantiating a target phenomenon or simulating key mechanisms underlying that phenomenon; `strong¿ and `weak¿ approaches, respectively. While the former assumes a mature theory, the latter find its value in helping specify such theories. Here, we argue that artificial consciousness is best pursued as a (weak) means of theory development in consciousness science, and not as a (strong) axiom-driven project to build a conscious artefact. As with the other sciences of the artificial (intelligence, life), artificial consciousness can contribute by elaborating the possibilities and limitations of candidate mechanisms, transforming properties into mechanism-based criteria, and as a result potentially unifying apparently distinct properties via new mechanism-based concepts. We illustrate our arguments by discussing both axiom-driven and neurobiologically grounded approaches to artificial consciousness.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Robert Clowes
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:24
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2012 08:45
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