The operative mind: A functional, computational and modeling approach to machine consciousness

Carlos Hernández*, Ignacio López, Ricardo Sanz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The functional capabilities that consciousness seems to provide to biological systems can supply valuable principles in the design of more autonomous and robust technical systems. These functional concepts keep a notable similarity to those underlying the notion of operating system in software engineering, which allows us to specialize the computer metaphor for the mind into that of the operating system metaphor for consciousness. In this article, departing from these ideas and a model-based theoretical framework for cognition, we present an architectural proposal for machine consciousness, called the Operative Mind. According to it, machine consciousness could be implemented as a set of services, in an operative system fashion, based on modeling of the own control architecture, that supervise the adequacy of the system architectural structure to the current objectives, triggering and managing adaptativity mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Machine Consciousness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • function
  • Machine consciousness
  • modeling
  • operating system


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