Artificial consciousness, also known as machine consciousness is one of the latest developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Robotics. A field perched on the nexus between science and philosophy, it assumes greater relevance in the light of increased realization that with the breakthrough innovations in genetics, neuroscience,neural networks and information processing, the days of A.C are imminent. Though it is very nascent as a formal science, the concept of A.C is age old. It has been mentioned in archaic times in Prometheus’s men of Greek Mythology, as mechanical men in Chretien De Troyes etc in French folklore and in modern literature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Isaac Asimov’s I,Robot etc. The seminar attempts to elucidate the concepts of consciousness and to critically evaluate the various arguments which are for and against the existence or the possibility of invention or creation of A.C. It also considers the sense in adopting Turing Test as a yardstick for A.C. certain famous instances of A.C found in science fiction and a few real world examples of practical approaches to A.C are also discussed.
Artificial consciousness is a relatively new branch of computer science. But the idea is centuries old. A.C is a very philosophical area. There has been no consensus on what
consciousness is since all the definitions of consciousness are subjective and based on the human perception of consciousness. These criteria are evaluated in the second section. The third section contemplates on Turing test as a method to measure A.C. There are a number of approaches to giving birth to artificial consciousness. Top down, bottom up, neural network based etc are some of them. A number of artificially conscious entities that have always caught our imagination in science fiction and movies are based on such approaches, at least loosely. Our last sections deal with them.