Aaron Sloman

Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science
The University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT
England, UK

1991-2005: Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science.
Since 2005: Honorary Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science.

His research interests and his work are very much related to the field of artificial consciousness. An excerpt from his site:

[…] In particular I try to show that many of our ordinary mental concepts, e.g. “consciousness”, “emotion”, “belief”, “desire”, “intention”, “intelligence”, and other cognitive and affective concepts are partly confused `cluster concepts’ which can be clarified and refined (not eliminated) if we think of them as implicitly referring to an architecture which supports a variety of types of states and processes. […]

Consciousness and AI. AAAI Symposium. 2007

Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence:
Theoretical foundations and current approaches

AAAI Symposium, Washington DC, 8-11 November 2007

Symposium objectives (*)

The symposium will provide a lively and focused venue to present the current state of research and to discuss both the experimental result, the theoretical foundations of this emerging field and their relationship with traditional Artificial Intelligence. The symposium will consist of two days and a half. It will be divided in three parts: 1) theoretical issues (first day), and 2) models and implementations (second day), and 3) open discussion (last half day). During each day there will be space both for invited speakers and for papers selected by means of the call of papers of the symposium. Each invited speaker will have a time slot of 45 minutes, while the selected papers will use 20 minutes each.

The first day will focus on the theoretical issues underlying machine consciousness: surveys of recent research in the philosophy, psychology and neuroscience of consciousness and how it can inform AI, potential for AI to inform consciousness research, how the machine consciousness approach is more than just a re-packaging of work already being done in AI, etc. (Aleksander, 2000; Chrisley, 2003; Manzotti, 2005; Manzotti, 2006; Chella and Manzotti, 2007).

This part will involve an three invited speakers and 2-3 talks from the call for papers of the symposium.

The second day will move to discussion of the four highlighted aspects of machine consciousness with reference to specific implemented systems. This part will involve 1-2 talks for each of the four aspects.

Finally, during the half day there will be one or two invited speaker that will focus on the general perspectives of artificial consciousness and AI. The remaining time will be used for an open discussion among the participants about what is shared and what is not. The discussion will be chaired by the organizers and it will cover the relationships with traditional AI, the future objectives and the future trends of the field.

* Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence – AAAI Symposium – 2007 – Webpage.

International Workshop on Artificial Consciousness 2005

International Workshop on Artificial Consciousness

23-24 November 2005 – Agrigento – Sicily

Organizing commitee:
Antonio Chella
Riccardo Manzotti

The workshop is an interdisciplinary event focused on the topic of artificial consciousness: from neuroscience to artificial intelligence, from bioengineering to robotics.
Current robotic implementations showed impressive mechanical achievement (i.e. ASIMO by Honda or QRIO by SONY) and yet these robotic devices are incapable of equally outstanding perceptual and cognitive performances.
A new generation of robots aimed at interacting with humans in an unconstrained environment shall need a better awareness of their surroundings and of the relevant events, objects, and agents. In short, the new generation of robots shall need some form of “artificial consciousness”.
The problem of consciousness is twofold: the nature of phenomenal consciousness (the hard problem) and the active role of consciousness in controlling and planning the behaviour of an agent. We do not know yet if it is possible to solve the two aspects separately; however the field of artificial consciousness is focusing mainly on the second one.
The workshop provides an overview on the current state of the art of research in the field of artificial consciousness.