Consciousness and the Quest for Sentient Robots

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 196)


Existing technology allows us to build robots that mimic human cognition quite successfully, but would this make these robots conscious? Would these robots really feel something and experience their existence in the world in the style of the human conscious experience? Most probably not. In order to create true conscious and sentient robots we must first consider carefully what consciousness really is; what exactly would constitute the phenomenal conscious experience. This leads to the investigation of the explanatory gap and the hard problem of consciousness and also the problem of qualia. This investigation leads to the essential requirements for conscious artifacts and these are: 1.) The realization of a perception process with qualia and percept location externalization, 2.) The realization of the introspection of the mental content, 3.) The reporting allowed by seamless integration of the various modules and 4.) A grounded self-concept with the equivalent of a somatosensory system. Cognitive architectures that are based on perception/response feedback loops and associative sub-symbolic/symbolic neural processing would seem to satisfy these requirements.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Illinois at SpringfieldSpringfieldUSA

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