On the evolution of artificial consciousness. Re-inventing the wheel, Re: Inventing the wheel

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Abstract

In this article I suggest how we might conceptualize some kind of artificial consciousness as an ultimate development of Artificial Life. This entity will be embodied in some sort of constructed (biological or non-biological) body. The contention is that consciousness within self-organized entities is not only possible but inevitable. The basic sensory and interactive processes by which an organism operates within an environment are such as to be the basic processes that are necessary for consciousness. I then look at likely criteria for consciousness, and point to an architecture of the cognitive which maps onto the physiological layer, the brain. While evolutionary algorithms and neural nets will be at the heart of the production of artificial intelligences there is a particular architectural organization that may be necessary in the production of conscious artefacts. This involves the operations of multiple layers of feedback loops in the anatomy of the brain, in the social construction of the contents of consciousness and in particular in the self-regulation necessary for the continued operation of metabolically organized systems. Finally I make some comments on the ethics of such a procedure.

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