Franklin is the author of Artificial Minds (1995) and mental father of IDA and its successor LIDA, both computational implementations of Global Workspace Theory. He is founder of the Cognitive Computing Research Group at the University of Memphis.
A mathematician turned computer scientist turning cognitive scientist, Franklin's research is motivated by wanting to know how minds work—human minds, animal minds and, particularly, artificial minds.
For some years he’s worked on “conscious” software agents, that is, autonomous agents modeling the global workspace theory of consciousness. These agents computationally model human and animal cognition, and provide testable hypotheses for cognitive scientists and neuroscientists. This endeavor, funded by the US Navy, has been the subject of some sixty papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings.