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The Emergence of Consciousness at Lighthouse


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Presentation by Anna Dumitriu at Lighthouse in Brighton as part of her Emergence of Consciousness Project.

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The Emergence of Consciousness at Lighthouse

  1. 1. The Emergence of Consciousness: What is it like to be a robot? Anna Dumitriu
  2. 2. Plan for talk/workshop <ul><li>Background. </li></ul><ul><li>The Emergence of Consciousness Project. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Myth of Consciousness <ul><li>It seems to us that we experience our own consciousness directly. </li></ul><ul><li>Science gives reasons to doubt this simple view – such as the Libet experiments. </li></ul><ul><li>We therefore need to explore how our subjective experience and our “consciousness” emerges from the way we interact with the world and each other. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Embodiment <ul><li>&quot;the mind cannot be separated from the entire organism. We tend to think that the mind is in the brain, in the head, but the fact is that the environment also includes the rest of the organism; includes the fact that the brain is intimately connected to all of the muscles, the skeletal system, the guts, and the immune system, the hormonal balances and so on and so on. It makes the whole thing into an extremely tight unity.” – Varela 1988 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Situatedness <ul><li>An agent which is embedded in an environment. </li></ul><ul><li>It may be a dynamic (rapidly changing) environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Agents may be able to manipulate the environment through their actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Agents can sense or perceive. </li></ul><ul><li>Situatedness in the context of robotics entails the rejection of the &quot;sense, plan, act cycle&quot; of the GOFAI days. For the 'situated robot’ the environment is part of the solution. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Emergence <ul><li>When complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>In performance art this can relate to a kind of socially engaged generative system which creates a space for interactions that can produce unexpected and complex outcomes. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mindfulness <ul><li>“ The point of mindfulness/awareness is not to disengage the mind from the phenomenal world; it is to enable the mind to be fully present in the world. The goal is not to avoid action but to be fully present in one’s actions, so that one’s behaviour becomes progressively more responsive and aware.” –Varela et al. “The Embodied Mind” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Jackson’s Knowledge Argument <ul><li>Attempting to investigate the role of the physical and non-physical in conscious experience as discussed in Jackson’s “knowledge argument” entitled “Epiphenomenal Qualia”. </li></ul><ul><li>Mary </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Myth of Consciousness
  10. 10. The Myth of Consciousness
  11. 11. The Myth of Consciousness
  12. 12. The Myth of Consciousness
  13. 13. Second Performance – Shunt Lounge, London (February 2009)
  14. 14. Second Performance – Shunt Lounge, London (February 2009)
  15. 15. Second Performance – Shunt Lounge, London (February 2009)
  16. 16. Second Performance – Shunt Lounge, London (February 2009)
  17. 17. Epigenetic Robotics <ul><li>Epigenetic robotics looks at how an ‘infant’ robot might learn and ‘grow’ in an environment. Rather than the agent being ‘evolved’ as a fully formed ‘adult’. </li></ul><ul><li>It privileges movement as the key indicator of brain development. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Dr Luc Berthouze <ul><li>Early diagnosis of cerebral palsy </li></ul>
  19. 19. Evolutionary Robotics for 5 -11 year olds
  20. 20. Evolutionary Robotics for 5 -11 year olds <ul><li>Emergence? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Robot Arthritis <ul><li>Cronos built by Prof Owen Holland (Visiting Professor CCNR) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Removal of sensory input <ul><li>Cup finding task </li></ul>
  23. 23. X-Sens and IBVA
  24. 24. X-Sens
  25. 25. So…? <ul><li>Do you think machines could ever think? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think machines could ever be intelligent? </li></ul><ul><li>Could a machine ever be conscious? </li></ul><ul><li>What does ‘alive’ mean anyway? </li></ul><ul><li>Can a machine ever be more intelligent than a living creature? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Websites Anna Dumitriu: