Henry Shevlin has an interesting paper from 2021 in Mind & Language that just went open access: Non-human consciousness and the specificity problem: A modest theoretical proposal. Shevlin discusses the problem of applying cognitive theories of consciousness, developed within the context of human psychology, to non-human systems, such as animals or artificial systems. For example, … Continue reading The specificity problem
David Chalmers in his book: Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, eventually gets around to addressing the 800-pound gorilla in the room for any discussion of the simulation hypothesis. Can consciousness itself be simulated, and if so, would the resulting entity be conscious? This issue, I think, is what makes many react with far sharper … Continue reading Can consciousness be simulated?
The new Dune movie has reminded me of that franchise's vision of future religions. So I was probably more primed than usual to notice a brief article asking if aliens would be religious. The author, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, invokes the Copernican principle to conclude that they likely would be. After all, most humans are religious to … Continue reading Would aliens or AI have religion?
I often say that consciousness lies in the eye of the beholder, a notion that many dislike and often push back against. To be clear, I do think that for any precise definition of "consciousness", there is a fact of the matter about whether it exists and what has it. Many respond by offering up … Continue reading Hierarchy of consciousness, January 2021 edition
This talk by David Chalmers on the relationship between consciousness and moral status is pretty interesting. You don't have to watch the video to follow this post, but it's in response to arguments he makes in the talk. The video is 75 minutes but the talk only lasts about 50 minutes with a Q&A afterward. … Continue reading Consciousness and moral status
It's pretty nice to see Kurzgesagt finally continuing its "Big Questions of Life and the Universe" series. I shared the first part on consciousness over a year go. The series is funded by the Templeton Foundation, which I know many people have issues with, but so far the content has been reasonably scientific. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck4RGeoHFko As … Continue reading Kurzgesagt on intelligence, and prospects for engineered intelligence
This is an interesting video from Big Think. It features discussion from a variety of thinkers like Richard Dawkins, Peter Singer, Susan Schneider, and others, including a lot of intelligent remarks from someone I wasn't familiar with until now, Joanna Bryson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVr_lpIMO0 Consciousness lies in the eye of the beholder. There is no universally agreed … Continue reading Does conscious AI deserve rights?
Recently, there was a debate on Twitter between neuroscientists Hakwan Lau and Victor Lamme, both of whose work I've highlighted here before. Lau is a proponent of higher order theories of consciousness, and Lamme of local recurrent processing theory. The debate began when Lau made a statement about panpsychism, the idea that everything is conscious … Continue reading The issues with biopsychism
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
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?