Text Size
Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Scale for measuring

consciousness development

in artificial creatures

ConsScale Framework

ConsScale is a biologically inspired scale designed to assess Machine Consciousness implementations. The scale evaluates the presence of cognitive functions associated with consciousness.

ConsScale - Measuring Machine Consciousness

ConsScale - A Machine Consciousness Scale

ConsScale Levels (of development of consciousness)

ConsScale has been originally designed for the evaluation of Machine Consciousness implementations. However, it can be potentially applied to any creature (biological organisms and artificial systems).

Each ConsScale level is characterized by architectural and behavioral criteria. Using the ConsScale Calculator an artificial agent can be rated and assigned a particular level. The specific level attained by an agent indicates the degree of development of consciousness in terms of effective integration of key cognitive functions.

The evaluation performed using ConsScale can be also regarded as a measure of the “Cognitive Power” of an agent. As the considered cognitive functions are associated with consciousness, the obtained measure is also a measure of consciousness. The higher the level obtained, the more the behavior of the agent resembles that of well-known conscious creatures like humans. See the Rating section to learn more about how to rate an agent using ConsScale.

The figure below summarizes the main levels defined in ConsScale. These development milestones are references associated with biological analogies. Note that ConsScale is not only able to assign a particular level, but to precisely establish the degree of development (which could fall anywhere in between two canonical levels). See CQS (ConsScale Quantitative Score) definition for details.

ConsScale Levels of Cognitive Development of Consciousness


See the description of the CQS to learn how the values represented in the graph above are calculated.

As ConsScale is an implementation-independent scale it enables comparative analysis of different intelligent/conscious creatures (for instance, hypothetical agents A and B are both level 8 creatures, but agent B is more cognitively developed than agent A):

ConsScale Comparative Analysis



ConsScale in the Media

Immortal avatars: Back up your brain, never die

New Scientist 2763

New Scientist. 05 June 2010. Cover Story. pp. 28-31.

The topic of mind uploading is addressed in the cover story of this New Scientist issue. ConsScale is quoted as an practical tool to really assess to what extent artificial avatars can be considered as conscious as ourselves.

Related Links

www.Conscious-Robots.com is a website about Machine Consciousness and Cognitive Robotics. The Test for Consciousness forum is the place for open discussion about ConsScale and other metrics for consciousness.

Conscious Robots Website