I just finished reading Linda Nagata's new book, Silver, which is the second book of her new Inverted Frontier series. It's a sequel to the first book, Edges, which I recommended earlier this year, and Memory, which I described and recommended a few weeks ago. Characters from both books feature heavily in the new story. … Continue reading Recommendation: Silver (Inverted Frontier Book 2)
(warning: neuroscience weeds) Okay, switching back to the other major debate in neuroscience: whether conscious perception happens in the back or front of the brain. A new study presents evidence that seems to bolster the frontal view: Neural Correlates of the Conscious Perception of Visual Location Lie Outside Visual Cortex (warning: paywall): When perception differs … Continue reading Conscious visual perception happens in the frontal lobes
One of the ongoing debates in neuroscience is on the nature of emotions, where they originate, where they are felt, and how innate versus learned they are. One view, championed by the late Jaak Panksepp and his followers, see emotions as innate, primal, and subcortical. They allow that the more complex social emotions, such as … Continue reading The layers of emotional feelings
In the post on the Chinese room, while concluding that Searle's overall thesis isn't demonstrated, I noted that if he had restricted himself to a more limited assertion, he might have had a point, that the Turing test doesn't guarantee a system actually understands its subject matter. Although the probability of humans being fooled plummets … Continue reading The barrier of meaning
I went to the NYU Consciousness site this morning hoping to see if the recent debate on the relationship of prefrontal activity to consciousness had been posted yet. It hasn't, and based on what I can see, it might be a while. But I did find this interesting debate from last year on whether split … Continue reading Debate: Do split-brain patients have two minds?
Neuroscientists Kingston Man and Antonio Damasio have a paper out arguing that the way to get artificial intelligence (AI) to the next level is to add in feelings. “Today’s robots lack feelings,” Man and Damasio write in a new paper (subscription required) in Nature Machine Intelligence. “They are not designed to represent the internal state of their operations … Continue reading Add feelings to AI to achieve general intelligence?
In 1950, Alan Turing published a seminal paper on machine intelligence (which is available online). Turing ponders whether machines can think. However, he pretty much immediately abandons this initial question as hopelessly metaphysical and replaces it with another question that can be approached scientifically: can a machine ever convince us that it's thinking? Turing posits … Continue reading The problems with the Chinese room argument
In the ongoing debate in neuroscience between those who see consciousness being in the back part of the brain, among the sensory processing regions, or in the front of the brain, in the cognitive action planning regions, there are issues confounding the evidence. Most experiments testing for conscious perception depend on self report from the … Continue reading The difficulty of isolating evidence for the location of consciousness