The ASSC (Association of Scientific Study of Consciousness) had its annual conference on consciousness this week, which culminated in a debate on whether AI can be conscious. Note: the event doesn't actually start until the 28:30 minute mark. The remaining part is about 99 minutes long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97z0OmpTs-Q I was delighted to see the discussion immediately … Continue reading The ASSC 23 debate on whether artificial intelligence can be conscious
Peter Flegel has an interesting article in Philosophy Now looking at possible connections between ancient Greek philosophy and conceptions explored in the Egyptian New Kingdom period. Ideas like the four elements and the theory of forms seem to have pretty clear antecedents in Egyptian thought. (There's also a brief suggestion that Akhenaten, known for a … Continue reading The antecedents of western philosophy
The other day, when discussing a paper that criticized IIT (the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness) as unscientific, I noted that IIT, while questionable as the ultimate answer for consciousness, could be useful in the more limited capacity of distinguishing degrees of consciousness in a brain. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that, … Continue reading Empirical vs Fundamental IIT and the benefits of instrumentalism
I just finished reading Stanislas Dehaene's Consciousness and the Brain. Dehaene is a French psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist who is bullish on the idea of consciousness being something that can be scientifically investigated. It's an interesting book, one that I recommend for anyone interested in the science of consciousness. Dehaene accomplishes his scientific investigation by … Continue reading Dehaene’s global neuronal workspace theory
I learned something new this week about the online magazine The Conversation. A number of their articles that are shared around don't show up in their RSS feeds or site navigation. It appears these articles only come up in searches, although it's possible they show in in the site's email newsletter, which I'm not subscribed … Continue reading What is it about phenomenal consciousness that’s so mysterious?
When I first heard of HBO's miniseries Chernobyl, it didn't sound like something I'd be interested in watching. I generally don't have a fascination for disaster porn and that's mostly what it seemed like from a distance. But after numerous friends described it as compelling, I finally checked it out, and spent the whole day … Continue reading Chernobyl and the costs of power
Last year I recommended Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time, a novel about the far future involving a struggle between an interstellar ark of refugees from a dying Earth and an accidental civilization of uplifted spiders over the one terraformed world known to be available. Children of Ruin is a sequel, although a substantial portion of … Continue reading Recommendation: Children of Ruin