Saturday, November 9, 2013

Intelligence and consciousness

When I talk about my AI work I am regularly asked about consciousness.  I usually reply that much of my best work is done by my subconscious.  But an important question still remains: Will an intelligence necessarily exhibit consciousness (at least part of the time)?  In some models/theories of intelligence and consciousness the answer is yes.

In order to handle the partial observability of nature an intelligence will require internal state and feedback loops to maintain/update it (Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, Russell and Norvig, 3rd edition, page 51). Some intelligent activities require loops/feedback, some do not. (see Knowledge Engineering and Management, G. Schreiber, et al, MIT Press, 2000, page 125 for a task list)

One model holds that feedback is the key to consciousness (see my blog of 29 June 2011).  As in Elman and Jordan networks you can see your own actions and some of your thoughts/internal signals/internal state as feedback from the hidden layers.  Within these models intelligence does lead directly to consciousness.

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