I've written a few times on the Attention Theory schema of consciousness. It's a theory I like because it's scientific, eschewing any mystical steps, such as assuming that consciousness just magically arises at a certain level of complexity. It's almost certainly not perfect, but I think it's a major step in the right direction. Michael Graziano, … Continue reading Michael Graziano on building a brain
Fears of AI (artificial intelligence) are still showing up the media, most recently with another quote from Stephen Hawking warning that it might be the end of us, with Elon Musk, due to his own anxious statements, now being referenced whenever the subject comes up. I've written many times before why I think these fears … Continue reading When should we consider an AI a fellow being?
I recently read Peter Watts's book, 'Blindsight', a hard(ish) science fiction novel about first contact with extraterrestrials. This is a book that's been out for several years, and was a Hugo Award nominee in 2006, so I'm a bit late to the party. Indeed, since I started this blog in November, a number of people have … Continue reading Blindsight by Peter Watts, a review
I've heard of Watson of course, the supercomputer system that won at Jeopardy, but I think I stilled picked up some interesting bits from this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmPlBJgmU1o Iwata is clear that Watson isn't sentient or conscious, but listening to him, I'm sure many people will be creeped out by its learning abilities.
The Turing Test is in the news this week, first with a wave of hype about a historical accomplishment, then with a secondary wave of skeptical scrutiny. The Turing Test was originally contemplated by Alan Turing in a 1950 paper. Turing envisaged it as an alternative to trying to determine if a machine could think. … Continue reading What does the Turing Test really mean?
I perceive consciousness in myself. My brain constructs a perceptual model of a mind that thinks this and that, feels this and that and is aware of this and that; the mind is attributed to my own location. That model provides an organized, coherent way for me to understand myself -- to predict and help … Continue reading Michael Graziano: The Spirit Constructed in the Brain
Eve, I call her. She awakes, wondering where she is and how she got there. She admires the beauty of the island. She cracks a coconut, drinks its juice and tastes its flesh. Her cognitive skills, her range of emotions, the richness of her sensory experiences, all rival my own. She thinks about where she … Continue reading Reinstalling Eden : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
In the discussion on my post on computer consciousness from the other day, my friend amanimal just provided the following link: BBC - Future - Technology - Is it OK to torture or murder a robot?. I think this powerfully corroborates my thesis in that post, but it also illustrates that I might have been … Continue reading BBC – Future – Technology – Is it OK to torture or murder a robot?