Computer Science Department
Stanford, CA 94305
We discuss what consciousness of its own mental structures a robot will need in order to operate in the common sense world and accomplish the tasks humans will give it. It's quite a lot.
Many features of human consciousness will be wanted, some will not, and some abilities not possessed by humans will be found feasible and useful.
We give preliminary fragments of a logical language a robot can use to represent information about its own state of mind.
A robot will often have to conclude that it cannot decide a question on the basis of the information in memory and therefore must seek information externally. Gödel's idea of relative consistency is used to formalize non-knowledge.
Programs with the level of consciousness discussed in this article do not yet exist.
Thinking about consciousness with a view to designing it provides a new approach to some of the problems of consciousness studied by philosophers. The advantage is that it focusses on the aspects of consciousness important for intelligent behavior.