Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Aleksander's five axioms of consciousness

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Scientists start work on thinking robot

Went to Igor Aleksander's lecture on the Emergent Mind at Imperial College last night (strange to go back to my alma mater after 20 odd years - and I'm there again next Tuesday!). Whilst most of it was about neural networks, he also talked about his 5 axioms (note nothing about communications!)

Aleksander's five axioms of consciousness

Axiom 1: a sense of place
We feel that we are at the centre of an "out there" world, and we have the ability to place ourselves in the world around us

Axiom 2: imagination
We can "see" things that we have experienced in the past, and we can also conjure up things we have never seen. Reading a novel can conjure up mental images of different worlds, for example

Axiom 3: directed attention
Our thoughts are not just passive reflections of what is happening in the world - we are able to focus our attention, and we are conscious only of that to which we attend

Axiom 4: planning
We have the ability to carry out "what if?" exercises. Scenarios of future events and actions can be mapped out in our minds even if we are just sitting still

Axiom 5: decision/emotion
Emotions guide us into recognising what is good for us and what is bad for us, and into acting accordingly

***Imported from old blog***

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