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Det digitala medvetandet – en informationsvetenskaplig studie av AI, modeller för mänskligttänkande och virtual reality
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2010 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The Digital Consciousness – an information science study of AI, models of human thinking andvirtual reality. (English)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines theories of consciousness in relation to information technology. This includes theories about AI, philosophical, psychological and neurological theories of consciousness, and virtual reality. The essay intends to do a philosophical groundwork for a theory of information that would include both AI and virtual reality. The questions this paper tries to answer are 1) How can we best create proper communication between man and computer, 2) Is it possible to create a complete virtual representation of perception, ie a fully digital world? 3) Does new technology and scientific advances concering the mind offer a solution to the philosophical problems of consciousness? 4) Would a complete simulation of the brain's neural activity be a consciousness itself? These parts of the examination come together in the overall question: How can modern theories of consciousness and digital models of these affect our approach to information technology and the development of future information technology?. To explain the theoretical background, philosophers like Searle, Turing, Dennett and Husserl are cited, and the computer programs CMattie and IDA, based on Bernard Baars Global Workspace Theory, a cognitive model of consciousness, are explained. To find answers to these questions, I have interviewed experts in psychology (Stefan Wiens), cognitive science (Peter Gärdenfors), neurology (Henrik Ehrsson) and computer science (Arne Jönsson). These have been commenting on these questions from the point of view of their research area. This information is then analyzed to identify meaningful connections between the various theories and research findings, which could be useful for a new theory of information. The short version of the results are 1) By creating a better understanding of how people communicate with each other 2) Perhaps not reality in full resolution, but a simplified reality simulation that the brain would experience as very real, is possible. 3) The reason that these problems are so persistent seems to be that they can not be resolved. The best solution is to find new definitions of consciousness that can fit in a digital world 4) It depends on the definition of consciousness. Would it create a consciousness that exactly similar to ours? The answer is: probably not.

The relevant finding for information science is that the cognitive approach to information seems adaptable to these new technologies and should be considered in the future, even though it has, perhaps rightly, been critisized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 488
Keyword [en]
Artificial intelligence, Virtual Reality, Information science, Philosophy of mind
Keyword [sv]
Artificiell intelligens, Virtuell verklighet, Informationsvetenskap, Medvetandefilosofi
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167089Local ID: 488OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-167089DiVA: diva2:480982
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-01-20 Created: 2012-01-20 Last updated: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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