Steps Towards Artificial Consciousness: A Robot's Knowledge of Its Own Body

Domenico Parisi, Marco Mirolli

Consciousness is a very difficult phenomenon to define and analyze. What we should do is try to operationalize it by reproducing in an artificial system (robot) single consciousness-related phenomena such that it is easy to say whether or not the artificial system exhibits the phenomenon. One such phenomenon is knowledge of one's own body as something which is different from other physical objects. We discuss robots that can reach with their hand specific unseen parts of their body, the role of tactile input and sensory multimodality in knowledge of one's own body, and how this knowledge can be demonstrated by robots that show surprise when their predictions are falsified. We also discuss how to reproduce the distinction between private and public knowledge and how more explicit and conscious knowledge of one's body can be demonstrated by robots that can use sentences containing the words I and you.

Subjects: 17. Robotics; 14. Neural Networks

Submitted: Sep 20, 2007