I am trying to build consciousness in artificial intelligence. The general mechanism is that agent (randomly or based on some preexisting knowledge) performs some actions (gets some knowledge, makes some plan, performs physical action or mental action, communicates with other agents, invents new actions, improves itself, etc., etc.) and then gets rewarded for its action. The reward can be immediate. The reward can be delayed and sparse (e.g. only after completing a very long, nondeterministally long sequence of actions), but still - there is exploration-action-reward-improvement (learning) cycle that is repeated again and again. All is very simple if the agent has a clear set of preferences and the agent acts in a utilitarian framework. Then such agents can achieve anything that is possible in the Universe. There is one (out of many examples), how a robot with such a cycle http://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/4/26/eaau9354 got self-knowledge.
My question is - is there anything in philosophy that is going beyond this exploration+reward cycle? Can all the epistemology be cast in this exploration+RL approach? If it is not possible, then, please, mention the concepts in epistemology that could not be modeled in exploration+RL paradigm?
Of course, this applies both to individuals and societies, and this paradigm can capture the emotional, non-rational behavior as well and the changing, undeterministic sets of preferences as well. So - I am seeking something really, really apart! Even the religions use this reward concept.