Machine consciousness in AI (IB210)

2017. 10. 06. 13:00 - 14:00

Machine consciousness in Artificial intelligence - The Hard Problem as an Interface Problem

2017. 10. 06. 13:00
Garrett Mindt (CEU)

The hard problem is the problem of why there is any experience associated with the physical processes occurring in our brains? Recently I have argued (Mindt, 2017) that certain information-theoretic theories of consciousness, specifically Integrated Information Theory (IIT), face a slightly different hard problem, since such theories claim that consciousness is the result of a specific type of information processing. The talk will be divided into two parts. First, I will discuss the hard problem of information in the context of IIT. This will involve explaining the objection to IIT developed in Mindt (2017) and what this means for the hard problem. I will then offer what I take to be a reinterpretation of the hard problem that makes it more scientifically useful to those working in the neuroscience of consciousness. This will involve turning the hard problem into the Interface Problem (Mindt & Montemayor, MS). The Interface Problem is a collection of related sub-problems concerning the epistemology of AI. Once this is done, I will discuss what implications the hard problem as an interface problem has on the project of machine consciousness in AI. The hope here will be to sketch out the epistemological tasks that lay ahead in developing the next generations of AI’s from a design-oriented perspective.

Tudománynépszerűsítő előadás
I am currently a doctoral candidate at CEU in Budapest. I completed my MA at the University of Liverpool and my BA at the University of Arizona. My research is focused on the relationship between information and consciousness. Specifically, I am interested in whether it is at all possible to give an information-theoretic account of consciousness, and if such an account is possible, would it stand in a position to account for the hard problem of consciousness? Recently, this research has been focused on one particular neuroscientific theory of consciousness that attempts to do just this – Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of Consciousness. Through studying IIT, I hope to see what the benefits and shortfalls of this particular theory are, and see if this can give us clues for understanding consciousness as an information-theoretic phenomenon.