Home > Meeting Topics and Material > Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics and News, Aug 24

Weekly QUEST Discussion Topics and News, Aug 24

QUEST Discussion Topics and News
24 Aug 2012

The Nagel paper last week stimulated an exciting discussion on phenomenological aspects of consciousness and whether they are relevant to a discussion on engineering solutions to aid humans making decisions. A flurry of emails during the week will be summarized to bring everyone up to date (please see this blog post for the email interaction). At the Phenomenal level, human consciousness (for the purposes of our discussion) involves the presence of a sensorimotor scene, the existence of a first-person perspective, the experience of emotions, moods, and a sense of agency. We had proposed a list of engineering characteristics that included Gisting, narratives, … From our investigation into the work of Ramachandran we could use the list:
• Continuity – unbroken thread (with ‘feeling’ of past, present and future) – cohesive narrative (non-causal – time is a quale)
• Unity – diversity of sensory data BUT ‘experiences’, memories, beliefs and thoughts are experienced as one person – as a unity
• Embodiment – mind is embodied and body is embedded, ‘feel’ anchored in our body (idea that you can’t model a priori all that will be encountered and form sensory experiences will take)
• Sense of free will – ‘feel’ in charge of our actions, I can wiggle my finger (recently thinking link sets may offset a lot of what appears to be free will)
• Reflection – ‘aware’ of itself (places ‘self’ in world model)
Whatever the list becomes our interest / discussion will center on defining some characteristics that we will include in our QUEST solutions that we can then test whether they provide some engineering advantage over solutions that don’t contain those characteristics.
That leads to topic two – the discussion on the application of the Tsou experimental paradigm to parse out the relevance to specific characteristics of the representations being used by humans to performance in analyst tasks.
The other topics on my list of interest as we find time is the formulation of an approach to ‘compute with qualia’ – what that would mean and how it would be implemented – using the computing with words work as a template.
Then I’m continuing to work down my list of topics we wanted to generate background information on to provide perspectives of our interests – the first on my list is returning to the work of Klein and others on joint human-agent activity. We would like to revisit this work from the perspective of the Tsou experimental paradigm to determine what our solutions approach addresses with respect to the Klein challenges.

QUEST Discussion Topics and News Aug 24

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