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Machines cast the problem of explaining consciousness in a particularly interesting light.  The most basic question is: Could a machine be conscious? Or, can consciousness be explained mechanically? More specifically, does consciousness have anything to do with what something is made out of, or is the only relevant issue what a thing’s parts are doing, whatever those parts are made of?  Could a machine made out of gears and pulleys be conscious?  Could a computer be conscious (a variant: is the internet conscious)?  Could a machine made out mostly water, carbon, and nitrogen be conscious? Are only information processors conscious (however this is defined, and however information processing is implemented)?  Perhaps can openers aren’t conscious not because they are made out of steel and plastic, but because their parts aren’t processing information, or not processing information in the right way.  These two issues can be combined: Can only machines with neurons be conscious because only neurons can do what has to be done to produce consciousness?  Perhaps consciousness cannot be explained mechanically, but nevertheless only mechanical things can be conscious; rocks are excluded, perhaps.  Is being alive necessary?  Could we upload our consciousness to another kind of machine?  Finally, what is the relation between behavior and the attribution of consciousness? Confronted with a non-conscious robot that behaved as if it were conscious, we would find it nearly impossible not to treat it accordingly, say, by refraining from insulting it or hitting it. Behaving as if they are conscious is in fact all we have to go on concerning our fellow carbon-based earthlings.  So, it is because animals like dogs, cats, octopi, and humans behave as if they are conscious, that we naturally conclude that they are (at least today . . . throughout history, however, many humans have been reluctant to attribute consciousness to others significantly unlike them, including other humans, dogs, cats, and octopi, etc.)  

Key works Leibniz, in section 17 of his Monodology, was one of the first to argue that thinking and perception could not be mechanical by imagining walking around in a large machine, like a windmill, that could think; one could not find the root of its thinking in the workings of its gears and pulleys.  An excellent modern version of Leibniz is Searle 1980.  Block 1978 comes to a negative conclusion again, like Leibniz's.  Stan Franklin's  Artificial Minds, MIT Press, 1995, has a more positive conclusion, and covers a lot interesting ground.  Another positive argument is Chalmers 2011.
Introductions An introduction is Gamez 2008. Also good is Stan Franklin's Artificial Minds, MIT Press, 1995.
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  1. William Y. Adams (2004). Machine Consciousness: Plausible Idea or Semantic Distortion? Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (9):46-56.
    I found the JCS issue on Machine Consciousness, Volume 10, No. 4-5 , frustrating and alienating. There seems to be a consensus building that consciousness is accessible to scientific scrutiny, so much so that it is already understood well enough to be modeled and even synthesized. I'm not so sure. It could be instead that the vocabulary of consciousness is being subtly redefined to be amenable to scientific investigation and explicit modeling. Such semantic revisionism is confusing and often misleading. Whatever (...)
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  2. William Y. Adams, Intersubjective Transparency and Artificial Consciousness.
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  3. Igor Aleksander (2013). Phenomenal Consciousness and Biologically Inspired Systems. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 5 (1):3-9.
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  4. Igor Aleksander (2011). Workspace Theories Are Alive and Well. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (02):309-312.
  5. Igor Aleksander (2010). Does Sloman criticise Sloman? International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (01):19-22.
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  6. Igor Aleksander (2010). Conscious Machines. The Philosophers' Magazine 50 (50):18-19.
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  7. Igor Aleksander (2009). The Potential Impact of Machine Consciousness in Science and Engineering. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1 (01):1-9.
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  8. Igor Aleksander (2008). Modeling Consciousness in Virtual Computational Machines. Functionalism and Phenomenology. Synthesis Philosophica 22 (2):447-454.
    This paper describes the efforts of those who work with informational machines and with informational analyses to provide a basis for understanding consciousness and for speculating on what it would take to make a conscious machine. Some of the origins of these considerations are covered and the contributions of several researchers are reviewed. A distinction is drawn between functional and phenomenological approaches showing how the former lead to algorithmic methods based on conventional programming, while the latter lead to neural network (...)
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  9. Igor L. Aleksander (2007). Machine Consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell
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  10. Igor L. Aleksander (2006). Machine Consciousness. In Steven Laureys (ed.), Boundaries of Consciousness. Elsevier
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  11. Igor L. Aleksander & B. Dunmall (2003). Axioms and Tests for the Presence of Minimal Consciousness in Agents I: Preamble. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4):7-18.
    This paper relates to a formal statement of the mechanisms that are thought minimally necessary to underpin consciousness. This is expressed in the form of axioms. We deem this to be useful if there is ever to be clarity in answering questions about whether this or the other organism is or is not conscious. As usual, axioms are ways of making formal statements of intuitive beliefs and looking, again formally, at the consequences of such beliefs. The use of this style (...)
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  12. Igor Aleksander, David Gamez & Helen Morton (2009). Information or Logic in Modeling Conscious Systems? International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1 (02):185-192.
  13. Igor Aleksander & Helen B. Morton (2011). Informational Minds: From Aristotle to Laptops (Book Extract). International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (02):383-397.
  14. Richard L. Amoroso (1997). The Theoretical Foundations for Engineering a Conscious Quantum Computer. In M. Gams, M. Paprzycki & X. Wu (eds.), Mind Versus Computer: Were Dreyfus and Winograd Right? Amsterdam: IOS Press
  15. John H. Andreae (1987). Design of a Conscious Robot. Metascience 5:41-54.
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  16. Jensine Andresen & Robert Kc Forman (2000). Cognitive Models and Spiritual Maps. Journal of Consciousness Studies. Controversies in Science and the Humanities, Special Edition 7 (11-12):4-287.
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  17. Peter Millican Andy Clark (ed.) (1996). Machines and Thought The Legacy of Alan Turing.
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  18. Leonard Angel (1994). Am I a Computer? In Eric Dietrich (ed.), Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons. Academic Press
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  19. Leonard Angel (1989). How to Build a Conscious Machine. Westview Press.
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  20. Michael A. Arbib (2004). Beware the Passionate Robot. In J. Fellous (ed.), Who Needs Emotions. Oxford University Press
  21. Victor Argonov (2014). Experimental Methods for Unraveling the Mind-Body Problem: The Phenomenal Judgment Approach. Journal of Mind and Behavior 35 (1-2):51-70.
    A rigorous approach to the study of the mind–body problem is suggested. Since humans are able to talk about consciousness (produce phenomenal judgments), it is argued that the study of neural mechanisms of phenomenal judgments can solve the hard problem of consciousness. Particular methods are suggested for: (1) verification and falsification of materialism; (2) verification and falsification of interactionism; (3) falsification of epiphenomenalism and parallelism (verification is problematic); (4) verification of particular materialistic theories of consciousness; (5) a non-Turing test for (...)
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  22. R. Arrabales, A. Ledezma & A. Sanchis, Modelling Consciousness for Autonomous Robot Exploration. Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
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  23. R. Arrabales & A. Sanchis (forthcoming). Applying Machine Consciousness Models in Autonomous Situated Agents. Pattern Recognition Letters.
  24. Raúl Arrabales (2014). Haikonen's View on Machine Consciousness: Back to the Engineering Stance. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 6 (1):1-4.
    Raúl Arrabales, Int. J. Mach. Conscious., 06, 1 (2014). DOI: 10.1142/S1793843014400010.
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  25. Raúl Arrabales, Agapito Ledezma & Araceli Sanchis (2010). The Cognitive Development of Machine Consciousness Implementations. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (02):213-225.
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  26. Raúl Arrabales, Agapito Ledezma & Araceli Sanchis (2009). Strategies for Measuring Machine Consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1 (02):193-201.
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  27. Robert L. Arrington (1999). Machines, Consciousness, and Thought. Idealistic Studies 29 (3):231-243.
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  28. Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere (2000). Consciousness, Intentionality, and Intelligence: Some Foundational Issues for Artificial Intelligence. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):263-277.
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  29. Bernard J. Baars & Stan Franklin (2009). Consciousness is Computational: The Lida Model of Global Workspace Theory. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1 (01):23-32.
  30. Puran K. Bair (1981). Computer Metaphors for Consciousness. In The Metaphors of Consciousness. New York: Plenum Press
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  31. Puran K. Bair (1981). The Metaphors Of Consciousness. New York: Plenum Press.
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  32. Ian G. Barbour (1999). Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, and Human Nature: Theological and Philosophical Reflections. In Zygon. Notre Dame: University Notre Dame Press 361-398.
  33. E. Barnes (1991). The Causal History of Computational Activity: Maudlin and Olympia. Journal of Philosophy 88 (6):304-16.
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  34. Luc Patrick Beaudoin (2011). The Designer Stance Towards Shanahan's Dynamic Network Theory of the "Conscious Condition". International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (02):313-319.
  35. Andrew beedle (1998). Sixteen Years of Artificial Intelligence: Mind Design and Mind Design II. Philosophical Psychology 11 (2):243 – 250.
    John Haugeland's Mind design and Mind design II are organized around the idea that the fundamental idea of cognitive science is that, “intelligent beings are semantic engines — in other words, automatic formal systems with interpretations under which they consistently make sense”. The goal of artificial intelligence research, or the problem of “mind design” as Haugeland calls it, is to develop computers that are in fact semantic engines. This paper canvasses the changes in artificial intelligence research reflected in the different (...)
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  36. John L. Bell, Algorithmicity and Consciousness.
    Why should one believe that conscious awareness is solely the result of organizational complexity? What is the connection between consciousness and combinatorics: transformation of quantity into quality? The claim that the former is reducible to the other seems unconvincing—as unlike as chalk and cheese! In his book1 Penrose is at least attempting to compare like with like: the enigma of consciousness with the progress of physics.
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  37. Dieter Birnbacher (1995). Artificial Consciousness. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh
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  38. John Mark Bishop (2009). Why Computers Can't Feel Pain. Minds and Machines 19 (4):507-516.
    The most cursory examination of the history of artificial intelligence highlights numerous egregious claims of its researchers, especially in relation to a populist form of ‘strong’ computationalism which holds that any suitably programmed computer instantiates genuine conscious mental states purely in virtue of carrying out a specific series of computations. The argument presented herein is a simple development of that originally presented in Putnam’s (Representation & Reality, Bradford Books, Cambridge in 1988 ) monograph, “Representation & Reality”, which if correct, has (...)
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  39. John Mark Bishop (2003). Dancing with Pixies: Strong Artificial Intelligence and Panpsychism. In John M. Preston & Michael A. Bishop (eds.), Views Into the Chinese Room: New Essays on Searle and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press
  40. Susan J. Blackmore (2003). Consciousness in Meme Machines. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4):19-30.
    Setting aside the problems of recognising consciousness in a machine, this article considers what would be needed for a machine to have human-like conscious- ness. Human-like consciousness is an illusion; that is, it exists but is not what it appears to be. The illusion that we are a conscious self having a stream of experi- ences is constructed when memes compete for replication by human hosts. Some memes survive by being promoted as personal beliefs, desires, opinions and pos- sessions, leading (...)
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  41. Colin Blakemore & Susan A. Greenfield (1987). Mindwaves: Thoughts on Intelligence, Identity, and Consciousness. Blackwell.
  42. Paul Richard Blum (2010). MICHAEL POLANYI: CAN THE MIND BE REPRESENTED BY A MACHINE? Polanyiana 19 (1-2):35-60.
    In 1949, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Manchester organized a symposium “Mind and Machine” with Michael Polanyi, the mathematicians Alan Turing and Max Newman, the neurologists Geoff rey Jeff erson and J. Z. Young, and others as participants. Th is event is known among Turing scholars, because it laid the seed for Turing’s famous paper on “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, but it is scarcely documented. Here, the transcript of this event, together with Polanyi’s original statement and his (...)
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  43. Myles Bogner, Uma Ramamurthy & Stan Franklin (2000). Consciousness and Conceptual Learning in a Socially Situated Agent. In Kerstin Dauthenhahn (ed.), Human Cognition and Social Agent Technology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 113--135.
  44. Peter Boltuc (2014). Haikonen's Philosophy of Machine Consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 6 (1):5-11.
    Peter Boltuc, Int. J. Mach. Conscious., 06, 5 (2014). DOI: 10.1142/S1793843014400022.
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  45. Piotr Boltuc (2010). Sloman and H-Consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (01):23-26.
  46. Piotr Boltuc (2009). The Philosophical Issue in Machine Consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1 (01):155-176.
    The truly philosophical issue in machine conscioiusness is whether machines can have 'hard consciounsess' (like in Chalmers' hard problem of consciousness). Criteria for hard consciousness are higher than for phenomenal consciousness, since the latter incorporates first-person functional consciousness.
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  47. Pierre Bonzon (2011). Towards Machine Consciousness: Grounding Abstract Models as Π-Processes. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (01):1-17.
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  48. Pierre Bonzon (2003). Conscious Behavior Through Reflexive Dialogs. In A. Günter, R. Kruse & B. Neumann (eds.), Lectures Notes in Artificial Intelligence. Springer
    We consider the problem of executing conscious behavior i.e., of driving an agent’s actions and of allowing it, at the same time, to run concurrent processes reflecting on these actions. Toward this end, we express a single agent’s plans as reflexive dialogs in a multi-agent system defined by a virtual machine. We extend this machine’s planning language by introducing two specific operators for reflexive dialogs i.e., conscious and caught for monitoring beliefs and actions, respectively. The possibility to use the same (...)
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  49. Nick Bostrom, R. C. W. Ettinger & Charles Tandy (eds.) (2004). Death and Anti-Death, Volume 2: Two Hundred Years After Kant, Fifty Years After Turing. Palo Alto: Ria University Press.
  50. Selmer Bringsjord (2007). Offer: One Billion Dollars for a Conscious Robot; If You're Honest, You Must Decline. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (7):28-43.
    You are offered one billion dollars to 'simply' produce a proof-of-concept robot that has phenomenal consciousness -- in fact, you can receive a deliciously large portion of the money up front, by simply starting a three-year work plan in good faith. Should you take the money and commence? No. I explain why this refusal is in order, now and into the foreseeable future.
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