THINKING, EMOTION, AND SELF-AWARENESS
depending on the stimulus it has been receiving. If Kismet itself reads this arousal tag, the robot not only is aroused, it knows it is aroused, and it can use this information to plan its future behavior.This, too, begins to resemble an important characteristic of higher conscious- ness; namely, the reflexive ability of a mind to examine itself over its own shoulder.
Unquestionably, these examples are a far cry from Gardner’s broad vision of intrapersonal intelligence, or that sense of selfhood projected forward and backward in time that defines the higher consciousness. Yet these tiny first steps toward self-knowledge might be the begin- nings of an evolution toward full digital thought and consciousness— an evolution that has only begun, and whose prospects, along with other facets of the future and meaning of artificial beings, we examine in the last chapter.