Research Topic

Consciousness in Humanoid Robots

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Building a conscious robot is a grand scientific and technological challenge. Debates about the possibility of conscious robots and the related positive outcomes and hazards for human beings are today no more confined to philosophical circles. Robot consciousness is a research field aimed to a unified view of ...

Building a conscious robot is a grand scientific and technological challenge. Debates about the possibility of conscious robots and the related positive outcomes and hazards for human beings are today no more confined to philosophical circles. Robot consciousness is a research field aimed to a unified view of approaches as cognitive robotics, epigenetic and affective robotics, situated and embodied robotics, developmental robotics, anticipatory systems, biomimetic robotics. Scholars agree that a conscious robot would completely change the current views on technology: it would not be an “intelligent companion” but a complete novel kind of artifact. Notably, many neuroscientists involved in the study of consciousness do not exclude this possibility. Moreover, facing the problem of consciousness in robots may be a major move on the study of consciousness in humans and animals.

The Frontiers Research Topic on consciousness in humanoid robots concerns the theoretical studies, the models and the case studies of consciousness in humanoid robots. Topics related to this argument are:
- the needs of a body for robot consciousness;
- robot self-consciousness;
- the capability of a robot to reason about itself, its body and skills;
- the episodic memory in a robot, i.e., the ability to take into account its operational life;
- design strategies versus developmental approaches in assessing consciousness in a robot;
- robot architectures candidates for consciousness;
- symbolic versus neural networks representations in robot consciousness;
- consciousness, theory of mind and emotions in a humanoid robot;
- measurements and assessments of consciousness and self-consciousness in a robot;
- ethical and trust issues in a conscious humanoid robot.


Keywords: Robot Consciousness, Robot Awareness, Machine Consciousness, Artificial Consciousness, Autonomic Robotics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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