4th Consciousness Club at DG Lab
Speaker: Prof. Jun Tani
Organizing : DG Lab
Attendee Type 1
"Exploring Robotic Minds: Emergentist Approach Towards Understanding of Non-Reductive Consciousness"
This talk proposes that the mind is comprised of emergent phenomena, which appear via intricate and often conflictive interactions between top-down intentional processes involved in proactively acting on the external world and bottom-up recognition processes involved in receiving the resultant perceptual reality. This view has been tested via a series of neurorobotics experiments employing predictive coding principles implemented in “deep” recurrent neural network (RNN) models. With the direct human tutoring of robots built on this model, robots develop the skills needed to generate complex actions, the concepts necessary for representing the world, and the potential for the linguistic competency required to express such experiences. Furthermore, these experiments confirm that “compositional” yet fluid thinking and acting develop with the spontaneous formation of a functional hierarchy in neurodynamic structures once proper constraints are established. Constraints include those on processing at multiple spatio-temporal scales, as well as those informed by tutoring at the level of behavioral interaction.
The talk highlights an account of free will, how it emerges and becomes the contents of consciousness, as related to the studies by Libet (1985). Deterministic chaos self-organizes in the higher level of the aforementioned deep RNN model, and this can cause spontaneous shifts in motor movement patterns generated in the lower level. In the other direction, intention in the higher level can be modified in a postdictive manner in the course of minimizing the prediction error generated through conflict with perceived reality. One important implication here is that one becomes consciously aware of one’s own intention for generating action via postdiction, when the intention originally unconsciously generated is modified in the face of possible conflicts due to embodiment or potential openness in the environment. Thus, a holistic dynamics of the mind emerges as the circular causality between these two poles, top-down subjective mind and bottom-up objective world. These two poles turn out to be inseparable, entangled in the ongoing embodiment of enacted (as well as simulated) trial and error as fibers weave together to form threads into the prospective future, as Merleau-Ponty has speculated. Looking forward, the essential interaction between self and world providing for consciousness and free will can be further clarified through the close examination of nonstationary characteristics emerging from normal operations of this essential dynamical structure.
|19:05-19:15||About Consciousness Club|
|19:15-20:20||Speech "Exploring Robotic Minds"|
He received a doctor of engineering degree in electrical engineering from Sophia University in Tokyo in 1995. He started his professional work as a piping engineer in Chiyoda Corporation in 80s. Then, he worked for Sony Corp. and later for Sony Computer Science Lab as a researcher in 90s. Then, he worked at Riken Brain Science Institute from 2001 to 2012 where he has been a PI of Lab. for Behavior and Dynamic Cognition. He had been also appointed as a Visiting Associate Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo from 1997 to 2002. He became a full professor of Electrical Engineering in KAIST in Korea in 2012 where he started Cognitive Neuro-Robotics Lab. He is also a visiting professor in Waseda Univ. currently. His research interests include neurorobotics, deep learning, complex systems, brain science, developmental psychology, and philosophy of mind. He is the author of a book entitled “Exploring Robotic Minds” published recently from Oxford Univ. Press.
About Consciousness Club
Consciousness Club is a Tokyo-based study group founded by Ryota Kanai to encourage transdisciplinary discussions on the neural and computational bases of consciousness. Discussion in this group covers a wide range of topics including philosophy, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, complex systems, computer science, and robotics. Over the past year, meetings have been held weekly in academic institutes such as The University of Tokyo and Earth-Life Science Institute at Tokyo Tech. We are now interested in extending the scope of the audience to facilitate discourse between academia and industry to work towards the development of artificial general intelligence and machine consciousness.
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