Archive for the 'A-Life' Category

Computer Theory

I’m teaching a class on Computer Theory at Maryville College this semester (Fall 2011). A student there sent me this cartoon that, unfortunately, does sum up the way that this course was delivered to me: I created a (hopefully) more interesting introduction to this subject, that I posted on my site Here is a […]

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Robot Summer

I’ve been playing with three robots this summer: Carnegie-Mellon’s Educational Robot – “The Finch” iRobot Roomba Pet Series 562 Vacuum Cleaning Robot “Moe” – Home-brewed Arduino-based Robot Carnegie-Mellon announced “The Finch” on May 5th and I only waited a few days before deciding I had to have one. The Finch was developed as an educational […]

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Can computers be “self-conscious?”

Computers can obviously be aware of what they do. This is part of the role of the operating system. Operating systems monitor, control and protect the operation of the computer so as to keep the system healthy and able to respond to requests by users of the system. The question of whether computers can be […]

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What does it mean to be “self-conscious?”

As human beings, we know what self-consciousness is. We experience it all the time. We experience being aware of ourselves as separate from other things. Self-consciousness is rooted in the experience of an inner and outer world. The inner world being that which I call “myself” and the outer world the “not me.” The inner […]

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What is “consciousness?”

As a computer scientist, I have always been fascinated by the notion of consciousness as it relates to computers, specifically, whether computers are or can be conscious, self-aware, intelligent, etc. In thinking about these ideas, I’ve come to believe that computers already are conscious, or at least they behave so once suitably programmed. Consciousness is […]

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