The strength of weak artificial consciousness

Seth, Anil (2009) The strength of weak artificial consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness, 1 (1). pp. 71-82. ISSN 17938430

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Machine (artificial) consciousness can be interpreted in both strong and weak forms, as an instantiation or as a simulation. Here, I argue in favor of weak artificial consciousness, proposing that synthetic models of neural mechanisms potentially underlying consciousness can shed new light on how these mechanisms give rise to the phenomena they do. The approach I advocate involves using synthetic models to develop "explanatory correlates" that can causally account for deep, structural properties of conscious experience. In contrast, the project of strong artificial consciousness — while not impossible in principle — has yet to be credibly illustrated, and is in any case less likely to deliver advances in our understanding of the biological basis of consciousness. This is because of the inherent circularity involved in using models both as instantiations and as cognitive prostheses for exposing general principles, and because treating models as instantiations can indefinitely postpone comparisons with empirical data.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Anil Seth
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:27
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 11:09
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