An interesting paper which comports with my idea that "the problem of consciousness" will be "solved" by engineering. Or John Clark's point that consciousness is easy, intelligence is hard.

Consciousness in
Cognitive Architectures
A Principled Analysis of RCS, Soar and ACT-R

Here's an excerpt:

"The justifiable quest for methods for managing reasoning about selves in this
context is driven by the desire of moving responsibility for system robustness
from the human engineering and operation team to the system itself. This is
also the rationale behind the autonomic computing movement but in our case
the problem is much harder as the bodies of our machines are deeply embedded
in the physics of the world.
But the rationale for having self models is even deeper than that: if modelbased
control overpasses in capabilities to those of error-based control, the
strategy to follow in the global governing of a concrete embedded system is
not just recognising departure from setpoints but anticipating the behavior
emerging from the interaction of the system with it surrounding reality.
Hence the step from control systems that just exploit models of the object,
to control systems that exploit models of the pair system + object is a 
necessary
one in the ladder of increased performance and robustness. This step
is also observable in biological systems and while there are still loads of 
unsolved
issues around, the core role that "self" plays in the generation of 
sophisticated
behaviour is undeniable. Indeed, part of the importance of selfconsciousness
is related to distinguishing oneself from the emvironment in
this class of models (e.g. for action/agency attribution in critical, 
bootstrapping
learning processes)."

http://cogprints.org/6228/1/ASLAB-R-2008-004.pdf

Brent
"The perfect machine does not exist, mechanically speaking. The only perfect machine is a woman."
      --- Ettore Bugatti, quoted by Enzo Ferrari

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