Title: On the link between conscious function and general intelligence in humans and machines
Speaker: Arthur Juliani
In popular media, there is often a connection drawn between the advent of awareness in artificial agents and those same agents simultaneously achieving human or superhuman level intelligence. In this talk, I will examine the validity and potential application of this seemingly intuitive link between consciousness and intelligence. I will do so by examining the cognitive abilities associated with three contemporary theories of conscious function: Global Workspace Theory (GWT), Information Generation Theory (IGT), and Attention Schema Theory (AST), and demonstrating that all three theories specifically relate conscious function to some aspect of domain-general intelligence in humans. With this insight, we will turn to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and find that, while still far from demonstrating general intelligence, many state-of-the-art deep learning methods have begun to incorporate key aspects of each of the three functional theories. Given this apparent trend, I will use the motivating example of mental time travel in humans to propose ways in which insights from each of the three theories may be combined into a unified model. I believe that doing so can enable the development of artificial agents which are not only more generally intelligent but are also consistent with multiple current theories of conscious function.