Consciousness, action selection, meaning and phenomenic anticipation

Ricardo Sanz, Carlos Hernández, M. G. Sánchez-Escribano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Phenomenal states are generally considered the ultimate sources of intrinsic motivation for autonomous biological agents. In this article, we will address the issue of the necessity of exploiting these states for the design and implementation of robust goal-directed artificial systems. We will provide an analysis of consciousness in terms of a precise definition of how an agent «understands» the informational flows entering the agent and its very own action possibilities. This abstract model of consciousness and understanding will be based in the analysis and evaluation of phenomenal states along potential future trajectories in the state space of the agents. This implies that a potential strategy to follow in order to build autonomous but still customer-useful systems is to embed them with the particular, ad hoc phenomenality that captures the system-external requirements that define the system usefulness from a customer-based, requirements-strict engineering viewpoint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Machine Consciousness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • artificial systems
  • Consciousness
  • meaning
  • phenomenology
  • requirements-driven engineering

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