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
The Scientist has an interesting article up reporting on the progress that's being made in neuromorphic hardware. But the fact that computers “think” very differently than our brains do actually gives them an advantage when it comes to tasks like number crunching, while making them decidedly primitive in other areas, such as understanding human speech … Continue reading Brain inspired hardware
A while back, I highlighted a TEDX talk by Anil Seth where he discussed that cognition is largely a prediction machine. Apparently Seth more recently gave another talk at the full TED conference, which is receiving rave reviews. Unfortunately, that talk doesn't appear to be online yet. But one article reviewing the talk focuses on something … Continue reading Why embodiment does not make mind copying impossible
Consider a rock outside somewhere. It sits there, starting off in the morning in a certain state. The sun comes out and proceeds to warm it up. Its temperature climbs through the day until the sun sets, whereupon it cools through the night. The cycle starts again the next morning. The rock is going through … Continue reading Are rocks conscious?
I've posted a number of times about artificial intelligence, mind uploading, and various related topics. There are a number of things that can come up in the resulting discussions, one of them being Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems. The typical line of arguments goes something like this: Gödel implies that there are solutions that no algorithmic system can accomplish but that humans … Continue reading Gödel’s incompleteness theorems don’t rule out artificial intelligence
In the fictional far future of the classic science fiction novel, 'Dune', computers are taboo across all human cultures, the result of an ancient jihad which resulted in the religious commandment: "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind." The result of this commandment, is that computers, robots, or artificial intelligence … Continue reading A machine in the likeness of a human mind
This question came up on Quora: 3 What percent chance is there that whole brain emulation or mind uploading to a neural prosthetic will be feasible by 2048? - Quora. After seeing a number of skeptical responses, many claiming that mind uploading was inherently impossible or even incoherent, I posted the following reply: I think mind … Continue reading Saying that mind uploading will never be possible is unwarranted
A few days ago, when I told him I thought his skepticism of mind uploading was a bit overly pessimistic, Massimo Pigliucci pointed out that mind uploading implies dualism and seemed to see this as a strike against it. (The relevant comments are scattered on this thread at his blog. Search for "selfaware" to find … Continue reading The dualism of mind uploading
Alan Turing was a pioneer in the field of computer science. One of the things he is famous for is the Turing test. At its core, this is a test about whether or not a machine, a computer, can convince a human that the machine is another human. The details of the specific test that … Continue reading Consciousness is in the eye of the beholder
I’m pretty much a subscriber to the computational theory of mind (broadly speaking), which holds that the mind is information in the brain. If this theory of mind is accurate, then there should be no barrier to someday uploading a copy of our mind into a computer, providing we can find a way to record … Continue reading Will we be able to upload our minds?