Home > Uncategorized > QUEST Discussion Topics and News, July 6

QUEST Discussion Topics and News, July 6

QUEST Discussion Topics and News July 6

Although we don’t expect a lot of people are around we will meet this week to continue our discussion on the ‘purpose of consciousness’. We will use several works discussed prior to guide the discussion.
1.) First there was an article that attempted to lay out a schema for cognitive systems from reactive up through deliberative systems: A deliberative system can easily get stuck in loops or repeat the same unsuccessful attempt to solve a sub-problem (one of the causes of stupidity in early symbolic AI programs with sophisticated reasoning mechanisms). One way to prevent this is to have a parallel subsystem monitoring and evaluating the deliberative processes. If it detects something bad happening, then it may be able to interrupt and re-direct the processing. We call this meta-management – VETO ABILITY following (Beaudoin 1994). (Compare Minsky on “B brains” and “C brains” in (Minsky 1987).
2.) Then there was our interaction with Prof Edelmann which provided a taxonomy associated with behavior and function etc.: Various properties of human consciousness can be identified at the neural, behavioral, and phenomenal levels [4]. *** we are seeking engineering properties of consciousness *** Neural correlates of human consciousness include the presence of thalamocortical signaling, fast, irregular, low-amplitude electroencephalographic (EEG) signals, and widespread cortical activity correlated with conscious contents [5–7]. At the behavioral level, consciousness has been associated with behavioral flexibility [8], rational action [9], and certain forms of conditioning [10]. These can be related to cognitive properties involving widespread access and associativity [8], multiple discriminations [11], and the capacity for accurate report [5]. These properties can be mapped to a variety of functions related to consciousness [12]. At the phenomenal level, human consciousness involves the presence of a sensorimotor scene, the existence of a first-person perspective, the experience of emotions, moods, and a sense of agency [13–14]. Also included an article on investigating animal consciousness: We illustrate our framework with reference to two subphyla: one relatively near to mammals – birds – and one quite far –cephalopod molluscs. Consistent with the possibility of conscious states, both subphyla exhibit complex behavior and possess sophisticated nervous systems. Their further investigation may reveal common phyletic conditions and neural substrates underlying the emergence of animal consciousness.
3.) Also the Koch article on when does consciousness arise – where he states: I wager that the fetus experiences nothing in utero; that it feels the way we do when we are in a deep, dreamless sleep.

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