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There Are Three Kinds of Consciousness, and Computers Have Mastered One, Says Study


Sean Young as a replicant in the movie "Blade Runner."

A small group of neuroscientists tried to determine if we are anywhere near the holy grail of artificial intelligence: artificial self-awareness. The short answer is no.

Credit: Warner Brothers

A study by neuroscientists offers insights into whether computers may become conscious by deconstructing consciousness into three categories.

The researchers describe the first category (C0) as encompassing problem solving by the brain without awareness, and computers already can achieve this level, as manifested in the advent of driverless vehicles.

The researchers say the second category (C1) "refers to the relationship between a cognitive system and a specific object of thought." On this level, that object is chosen for global processing, transferring it from a narrow relationship into one that can be manipulated under various contexts.

The third category (C2) covers "meta-cognition," or a sense of knowing what we know, and the researchers note although C1 can occur without C2, and vice versa, neither system as yet has a machine-intelligence equivalent. They suggest C2 technology could be developed by applying probability to decision-making, or by retaining a meta-memory to establish a connection between what is and is not known.

From ScienceAlert
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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