Proto-visual-consciousness is defined in two, simple lines of mathematics. This formula is used repeatedly to create any possible computer program. If the Church-Turing thesis is correct, then the formula can be used to solve any problem that the human mind can solve. The formula can be translated into various shapes, including a shape that looks like a simple neuron. Large computer programs then look like a huge mass of neurons, with neural fibre bundles leading to peripheral devices, and with structures, like the visual columns in the primate cortex, that perform the critical task of matching patterns. Thus the computer formula for a robot's mind leads to a shape for its brain. Furthermore, the formula can be translated into a simple shape that can be used as a building block to approximate the shape and movement of any object in the world, including the robot's body. This triality of mind, brain, and body means that a robot can see and manipulate its own thoughts and the interconnections of its brain in a way that is exactly analogous to manipulating its body and objects in the world. Conversely, the shape and movement of objects in the world is exactly analogous to computer programs, so a robot can learn directly or by analogy with what it sees and does in the world.
I believe that a robot that can see its own thoughts, feelings, motivations, body, and surroundings is visually conscious. I am setting out to construct such a robot, though I expect it will take a very long time, perhaps millennia, to complete. I hope the description of my work will be of some interest and practical help to you, and that one day this task will be accomplished.
James Anderson, 2001.
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