Friday, February 5, 2016

A and P Consciousness

Ned Block talks about access and phenomenal consciousness.  He says "A state is A-conscious if it is poised for direct control of thought and action." (Consciousness, Function, and Representation, MIT Press, 2007, Page 168) In my Asa H 2.0 light (see my blog of  10 Feb. 2011) the nearest matching case vector becomes active in the module between lines 1020 and 1080 in the code and may output an action or make a prediction about the future in the module between lines 2300 and 2320. In some versions of Asa H search is reduced by retaining this best matching case over time (keeping it in consciousness) until it's degree of match drops below some threshold.

On page 171 Block says "A-conscious states are ... Thoughts, beliefs...e.g., the thought that grass is green." Asa H's case vectors are exactly things like "grass is green" and other beliefs that Asa H has learned from its experiences in the world.

Block also says on page 171 that "The paradigm P-conscious states are sensations..." And on page 170 that "...the feel of pain is a P-conscious type" or kind of state.  When the parts of a Lego NXT robot controlled by Asa H break apart torn sensor wires signal a pain which is recorded in a case vector (a state, a state of Asa's being). Other external and internal sensors provide additional components for each of Asa's case/state vectors.

Asa H does not have what I would call a "phenomenal consciousness module" however.  (Block, page 163) Unless such modules are the sensors and any preprocessors that are associated with them.

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