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A Multiple Context Brain for Experiments With Robot Consciousness

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1 Author(s)
Andreae, J.H. ; Dept. Elec. & Comp. Eng., Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

The PURR-PUSS system (PP) is a versatile model of a human-like brain, designed to be implemented in parallel hardware and embodied in the head of a robot moving in the real world. The aim of the research with PP is to try out mechanisms for learning, intelligence and consciousness. Limitations of resources have dictated that the experiments with PP are made on a personal computer by simulating the brain and robot body in a microworld. The unique features of PP are multiple context and novelty-seeking. In this paper, a squash-pop microworld is described first, so that concrete examples can be given for a brief review of the PP system, followed by two new features called trail memory, to realize Baars' global workspace, and belief memory, to realize Rosenthal's higher order thoughts and Johnson-Laird's conscious reasoning. The extended system, PP*, is designed to give consciousness to the subconscious PP, but higher order thoughts and conscious reasoning prove to be elusive. A definition of a conscious robot provides a measure of progress.

Published in:

Autonomous Mental Development, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )