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A discussion on consciousness in humans, animals and artificial intelligence

Two Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) researchers have proposed a novel theory of consciousness.
They’ve been studying the nature of consciousness for a long time, as well as how and where consciousness is generated in the brain and if animals have consciousness.
Consciousness, according to the new notion, is a state that is linked to sophisticated cognitive functions, rather than a passive basic state that takes over when we are awake.

In the journal Behavioural Brain Research, Professor Armin Zlomuzica of RUB’s Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience research group and Professor Ekrem Dere, formerly of Université Paris-Sorbonne and now of RUB, discuss their theory. The printed edition will be released on February 15, 2022, and the internet version has been available since November 20, 2021.

“The hypotheses underlying our platform theory of consciousness can be tested in experimental studies,” as the authors describe one advantage of their concept over alternative models. “Thus, the process of consciousness can be explored in humans and animals or even in the context of artificial intelligence.”

Any chance that AI or animals could be conscious? (© RUB, Kramer)

Details of this theory platform

The sophisticated cognitive operations associated with consciousness, according to platform theory, are applied to mental representations that are preserved and processed. Perceptions, emotions, experiences, memories, fantasies, and associations are all examples. In instances where acquired behavior or habits are no longer sufficient for coping, conscious cognitive operations are required. Driving a car or taking a shower does not necessitate consciousness. However, when something unexpected occurs, deliberate cognitive actions are required to handle the problem. They’re also needed to anticipate future events or challenges and devise effective coping solutions. Above all, conscious cognitive functions form the foundation for adaptive and flexible behavior, which allows people and animals to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

According to the new idea, conscious cognitive acts are carried out on the basis of a “online platform,” which functions as a kind of central executive that oversees subordinate platforms.
Subordinate platforms can be used to store knowledge or actions, for example.

Source: https://news.rub.de/english/press-releases/2021-12-20-psychology-consciousness-humans-animals-and-artificial-intelligence

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