Human and Machine Consciousness as a Boundary Effect in the Concept Analysis Mechanism

In Pei Wang & Ben Goertzel (eds.), Theoretical Foundations of Artificial General Intelligence. Springer. pp. 283--304 (2012)
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To solve the hard problem of consciousness we observe that any cognitive system of suffi- cient power must get into difficulty when it tries to analyze consciousness concepts, because the mechanism that does the analysis will “bottom out” in such a way as to make the sys- tem declare these concepts to be both real and ineffable. Rather than use this observation to dismiss consciousness as an artifact, we propose a unifying interpretation that allows consciousness to be explicable at a meta level, while at the same time being mysterious and inexplicable on its own terms. This implies that science must concede that there are some aspects of the world that deserve to be called “real”, but which are beyond explanation. We conclude that some future thinking machines will, inevitably, have the same subjective consciousness that we do. Some testable predictions are derived from this theory.
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