About the Author
My name is Geoffrey Collins. I began working life in 1972 as a telecoms technician apprentice with the General Post Office, as it was then known. At the time, however, aviation was my passion, so telecoms engineering was soon followed by a career flying, initially as a flying instructor. Later, as my interests evolved, I switched back to an engineering life and continued working as a software engineer.
The interest I have in artificial intelligence, which eventually drove my attempt to understand the conscious experience, began way back around 1984 when, by chance, I came across an article describing a robot vehicle developed in the early 1960's at the John's Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. The robot, a homeostatic device, captured my thoughts, particularly the idea that in carrying out its activities it was displaying something that, from an external point of view at least, looked like the actions of a simple animal. The idea that a machine might qualify as being alive and even thinking for itself struck me as totally enthralling and so the path for my future investigations was set.
By 1990, having built a reasonably successful version of the robot myself, I began a course of study in mathematics, computing and artificial intelligence with the Open University, the aim being to find work in the field of AI (artificial intelligence) on completion. As things turned out I spent the next ten years as a software engineer in the development of air traffic control systems, which was challenging in itself, and the AI research never did materialise. I did, however, continue working on ideas for an explanation of consciousness and how it must be possible to describe it as a phenomenon of the natural world.
I finally reached what I think is a reasonable explanation for the underlying cause of the conscious experience in 2011, allowing me to complete a book on the subject. As it turns out my own conclusions run in the same vein as some already in existence; generally falling under the auspicies of the Dual-Aspect theory.