Scholarpedia revew of machine consciousness
The article is exceedingly well done, about as well done as one could hope in so short a space.
Some specific suggestions follow.
Slight addition: “Such unconscious processes could be perceptual or memory-based or both.”
Another slight change: “The entry into the GW is also influenced by the current sensory inputs to the system so that the most important or salient process with respect to current sensory state of the organism is likely to enter the GW.”
Please add the word “among” to the following sentence: “The needs of an individual sailor are among the competing processes and suggestions for billeting from which the result of the broadcast from the GW constitutes the advice given to the user.”
One misspelling and breaking the sentence into two. “Franklin explicitly does not claim that this process encompasses an explanation of sensations. He mainly stresses that functionally, consciousness may be attributed to his working model as, to a user, it appears to carry out a task that normally requires conscious deliberation in a human billeter.”
This sentence isn’t clear and needs to be revised: “They draw attention to Block’s (1996) contention that in a functionalist stance, a mental state may be likened to the state of a state machine which only leads to a new state in function of a new sensory input.”
Add an “in”: A partitioned mental state as advocated under virtual machine functionism also appears in Aleksander (2005).”
Add a space: “For example, Benjamin Kuipers of the University of Texas (1996) draws attention to algorithms in AI “
Misspelling: “Holland’s primary principle is to build a human-like skeletal structure ready to engage with a real world so that it can build an internal virtual model of the world and its own interaction with it as a fundamental conscious thought.”
Add a space: “Antonio Chella of Palermo University (2007) has designed a robot “
Add a space: “Currently (at the very beginning of 2008)”
The article is clear, complete, excellently structured, and very well informed. It covers all the main issues of the field and addresses all most important approaches.
However I would suggest a few minor insertions that are by no means mandatory.
As far as I know, historically the first use of the term ‘Artificial Consciousness’ took place in the context of cybernetics. The best reference I can provide is Nemes, T. (1962). Kibernetic Gépek, Akadémiai Kiadò. (Nemes, T. (1969). Cybernetic machines. Budapest, Iliffe Books and Akademiai Kiadò.) In that book the author is explicitly talking about ‘artificial consciousness’.
Why not mention Bongard’s work and Adami’s explicit reference to machine consciousness on Science. (Adami, C. (2006). “What Do Robots Dreams Of?” Science 314(5802): 1093-1094.; Bongard, J., v. Zykov, et al. (2006). “Resilient Machines Through Continuous Self-Modeling.” Science 314(5802): 1118-1121.)
Historically, Gerard Edelmann tried to address consciousness building and designing machines. I think he should be mentioned.
Further, I would mention the distinction between strong and weak artificial consciousness suggested by Holland. It could provide a useful boundary to distinguish between different approaches.
Finally, it could be useful to list a few of essential features that we could attribute to a conscious machine. Igor Aleksander did something like that with its 5 axioms. Maybe they could be integrated with other criteria suggested by other authors. Suitable examples could be: phenomenal states, intentionality, semantics, developing new goals, information integration, self-control, and self-riflexivity. The list shall not need to be exhaustive. Different items could also partially overlap or contradict. Yet the list could provide a quick list of goals interesting for machine consciousness inspired scholars.
Beginning to deal with comments of reviewer B. Some of his/her references are a bit hard to trace, but they are very useful.