ConsScale: A Pragmatic Scale for Measuring the Level of Consciousness in Artificial Agents Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2010

start page

  • 131

end page

  • 164


  • 3-4


  • 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1355-8250

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2051-2201


  • One of the key problems the field of Machine Consciousness (MC) is currently facing is the need to accurately assess the potential level of consciousness that an artificial agent might develop. This paper
    presents a novel artificial consciousness scale designed to provide a
    pragmatic and intuitive reference in the evaluation of MC
    implementations. The version of ConsScale described in this work
    provides a comprehensive evaluation mechanism which enables the
    estimation of the potential degree of consciousness of most of the
    existing artificial implementations. This scale offers both well defined
    levels of artificial consciousness (that can be used for qualitative
    classification of agents) and a method to calculate an orientative
    numerical score (which provides a quantitative grade for comparing
    agents in terms of consciousness). A set of architectural and cognitive
    criteria is considered for each level of the scale. This permits the
    definition of a cognitive framework in which MC implementations can be
    ranked according to their potential capability to reproduce functional
    synergies associated with consciousness. The probability of the
    implementations having any phenomenal states related to the assessed
    functional synergy is not specifically addressed in this paper;
    nevertheless, it could be thoughtfully discussed elsewhere.