How to Make a Robot that Feels

How to Make a Robot that Feels

This article is divided in two parts:

  1. A summary of Kevin O’Regan keynote talk at CogSys 2010 by Raúl Arrabales.
  2. An invited extended discussion about the self and the role of action in sensation by Kevin O’Regan.

How to Make a Robot that Feels

strong_robot“How to make a robot that feels” was the title of the keynote talk given by Kevin O’Regan at the CogSys 2010 conference last week. During this talk O’Regan introduced the so-called hard problem of consciousness (as coined by Chalmers) and explained his sensorimotor approach to (phenomenal) consciousness [1]. This talk and related ideas are of special interest for Machine Consciousness researchers since O’Regan offers an account for sensory feel which virtually eliminates the hard problem, and therefore the explanatory gap itself. In the following I will try to summarize the key ideas that I got from both the talk and further discussions we had with O’Regan during the CogSys conference.

Using the redness of red, quite typical example in philosophy of mind, O’Regan addressed the problem of designing a robot that feels. Note that in this context the word feel is not used as in Damasio’s work, but to refer to the what-is-it-like or qualia associated to conscious contents, i.e. sensory feel.

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