What is Consciousness Computing?
Consciousness Computing is a branch of computer science that attempts to model human consciousness and its rules into computers to create an enhanced computing model for the future. Just like Quantum Computers and DNA Computers, Consciousness Computer was a Sci-Fi thing until recently when scientists put forward different mathematical models to turn Consciousness Computers into a research subject of interest.
The TedX talk by Prof. Max Tegmark from MIT explains the concept of consciousness computing in Consciousness is a mathematical pattern.
What can be called as Artificial Consciousness?
To model Artificial Consciousness it needs to be defined into certain laws and functions. The current research abstracts human consciousness into four functions that define Artificial Consciousness.
1. Storing information
The Computer must be able to store information given to it.
2. Processing information
The computer must be able to process the information given to it.
3. Independent principle
The computer must be able to look at information independently of any system, platform, or bias.
4. Integrated into a unified principle
The computer must have a superior system that has the knowledge of all the other independent systems present and can accordingly govern the response of the system to stimulus.
Now, the first two points are already at a mature stage in computer science. If information processing follows certain laws, we can tell it can be converted into higher-order consciousness. What we are looking for is independent laws, not something system dependent, platform-dependent or information-dependent. Laws that know the whole system and that can “illumine” the whole system.
We are looking for numbers that can measure how much the different parts of the system know each other, which can govern a superior system that knows it all. Something substrate independent and compartmentalized of lower-order functions. We are looking into finding how information "feels" when it is processed. We are looking for laws where "partial system knowledge is embedded within everything and everything is embedded within a complete system".
The last line looks paradoxical but that's how it is put, everything the system knows is in the domain of artificial consciousness and the range of artificial consciousness becomes the domain for all other functions of the system.
Are we there yet?
Consciousness computing is the future of computer science and artificial intelligence. This field is yet untouched by mass researchers but it is currently gaining momentum. It is aiming at a future of truly smart computers with emotions and other cognitive capacities which will be superior to all the present systems.
The current research focuses on finding more fundamental mathematical models that can map human consciousness more accurately. And the computer scientists are looking at how the present mathematical models can be utilized to model a system.
This article is a brief introduction to Consciousness Computing and its research. For more information on this field look into the resources below.