The Songbird and the Robotic Self-Awakening

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Valarie Yerdon

Abstract: The songbird sings a beautiful melody when there is no ecological need, and the imagination and curiosity are fueled for investigation with biological models of cognitive mechanisms of animal communication. Many animal sensory signals remain a mystery to the logical reasoning of science. Through the evolutionary game theory in ecological cognitive science, predictions are made regarding the signal cost, circumstances, and the individual agent’s state, about which signals (continuous or discrete) should be valued in certain circumstances, but not the details of signal design nor any clue as to why the signals are so diverse in form. In this, investigations have the what, when/where, but not the why. This is reflective of where the debate on robotic consciousness sits. A robot can be programmed to decide to carry out an action in an “if-then” case and use logical algorithms to ensure the calculations can be made to match the possibilities of situations, but to act randomly as an expression of feelings, emotions, passions, or just for the sake of the act, is beyond a calculation. It is the “why” of an existent consciousness, in the “just because” reasoning for the feeling, thought, emotion, passion, or compassion that occurred for the act to come to fruition. A sentient act from emotion or passion may not be a programmable option, as it comes from the identity and free will of the conscious self. The question to be discussed in this paper is whether robots could someday possess a level of consciousness and sentience, to match that of a living human being. This paper will investigate the position that robots will reach a level of sentience and consciousness through the intelligent learning systems of AI. There is strong support for the position that there is a way for electronic networks to become more like human neural networks. The nano and biotechnology grow and the understanding of the human physiology will increase, throughout the smallest of details with neurons, networks, and into the compatibility of neural with electronic systems. AI systems have begun to find support and integration with biotechnology with nanotechnology (West, 2000).

Keywords: Consciousness, Robotics, Human Factors

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001459

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