As is often the case, entertainment and literature lead the scientific world when it comes to imagining a future featuring robots with sentience or self awareness or consciousness. Films such as Ex Machina, plays such as The Hard Problem and books by writers such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke tell stories about conscious robots. But is that all this will ever be – stories? Today’s artificial intelligence research and development tends to be overwhelmingly commercially-led. Driverless cars, games-playing algorithms, big data – this is where AI tends to be today.

This is perfectly understandable. Research costs money and the more challenging the problem, the more costly the solution. It is not yet wholly clear what we would do with conscious AI anyway. Moreover, as some would have it, artificial general intelligence or human-level intelligence in a robot would quickly move to superintelligence. What price mankind at that point?

But where entertainment leads, science does tend to follow, in due course. This site presents contributions from many sources to the idea of conscious AI, ie, consciousness in robots or artificial intelligence entities. It embraces work in the fields of neuroscience, philosophy, ethology (animal behaviour), artificial neural networks, emotions, machine learning, language and linguistics. It picks up on work in minds, brains and computers, from the (apparently) intangible to the tangible. I hope you enjoy using the site.



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