Organoids, the small pieces of neural tissue grown from stem cells, dubbed "mini-brains", and used in research, have been getting a lot of attention lately. Apparently a few neuroscientists are concerned that the organoids might be sentient, and suffering as experiments are performed on them. There's growing concern that implanting human mini-brains in animal brains … Continue reading Angst over mini-brains
Smell has apparently always been a peculiar sense. The sensory pathway of smell information to the brain runs completely independent from the other senses. The pathways for the other senses run through the midbrain and thalamus and are then relayed to cortical regions. But smell goes to the olfactory bulb behind the nose, and from … Continue reading Did smell lead to consciousness?
I found this study interesting: Do flies have fear (or something like it)? -- ScienceDaily. A fruit fly starts buzzing around food at a picnic, so you wave your hand over the insect and shoo it away. But when the insect flees the scene, is it doing so because it is actually afraid? Using fruit flies … Continue reading Fruit fly fear and AI sentience
Click through for full sized version and the red button caption. via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. This SMBC reminds me of a concept that I've been debating on ways to express, but a brief comment here seems like the opportunity to do so. We've had a lot of discussions about exactly when we might start to … Continue reading Emotional versus intellectual attributions of consciousness
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.
Click through to see the full sized version. via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.