Philosophy


The idea that everything from spoons to stones is conscious is gaining academic credibility

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This sounds like easily-dismissible bunkum, but as traditional attempts to explain consciousness continue to fail, the "panpsychist" view is increasingly being taken seriously by credible philosophers, neuroscientists, and physicists, including figures such as neuroscientist Christof Koch and physicist Roger Penrose. "Why should we think common sense is a good guide to what the universe is like?" says Philip Goff, a philosophy professor at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. "Einstein tells us weird things about the nature of time that counters common sense; quantum mechanics runs counter to common sense. David Chalmers, a philosophy of mind professor at New York University, laid out the "hard problem of consciousness" in 1995, demonstrating that there was still no answer to the question of what causes consciousness. Traditionally, two dominant perspectives, materialism and dualism, have provided a framework for solving this problem.


When AI becomes conscious: Talking with Bina48, an African-American robot

ZDNet

An executive guide to the technology and market drivers behind the $135 billion robotics market. Artist Stephanie Dinkins tells a fascinating story about her work with an AI robot made to look like an African-American woman and at times sensing some type of consciousness in the machine. She was speaking at the de Young Museum's Thinking Machines conversation series, along with anthropologist Tobias Rees, Director of Transformation with the Humans Program at the American Institute, Dinkins is Associate Professor of Art at Stony Brook University and her work includes teaching communities about AI and algorithms, and trying to answer questions such as: Can a community trust AI systems they did not create? She has worked with pre-college students in poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn and taught them how to create AI chat bots. They made a chat bot that told "Yo Mamma" jokes - which she said was a success because it showed how AI can be made to reflect local traditions.


What is artificial intelligence? (Or, can machines think?)

Robohub

Here are the slides from my York Festival of Ideas keynote yesterday, which introduced the festival focus day Artificial Intelligence: Promises and Perils. I start the keynote with Alan Turing's famous question: Can a Machine Think? and explain that thinking is not just the conscious reflection of Rodin's Thinker but also the largely unconscious thinking required to make a pot of tea. I note that at the dawn of AI 60 years ago we believed the former kind of thinking would be really difficult to emulate artificially and the latter easy. In fact it has turned out to be the other way round: we've had computers that can expertly play chess for 20 years, but we can't yet build a robot that could go into your kitchen and make you a cup of tea. In slides 5 and 6 I suggest that we all assume a cat is smarter than a crocodile, which is smarter than a cockroach, on a linear scale of intelligence from not very intelligent to human intelligence.


AI marks the beginning of the Age of Thinking Machines

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Every day brings considerable AI news, from breakthrough capabilities to dire warnings. A quick read of recent headlines shows both: an AI system that claims to predict dengue fever outbreaks up to three months in advance, and an opinion piece from Henry Kissinger that AI will end the Age of Enlightenment. Then there's the father of AI who doesn't believe there's anything to worry about. Meanwhile, Robert Downey, Jr. is in the midst of developing an eight-part documentary series about AI to air on Netflix. AI is more than just "hot," it's everywhere.


The controversial correlates of consciousness

Science

The mechanism of consciousness is one of the most fundamental, exciting, and challenging pursuits in 21st-century science. Although the field of consciousness studies attracts a diverse array of thinkers who posit myriad physical or metaphysical substrates for experience, consciousness must have a neural basis. But where in the brain is conscious experience generated? It would seem that, given this remarkable era of technical and experimental prowess in the neurosciences, we would be homing in on the specific circuits or precise neuronal subpopulations that generate experience. To the contrary, there is still active debate as to whether the neural correlates of consciousness are, in coarse terms, located in the back or the front of the brain (1, 2).


David Pearce's answer to How can AI be useful to answer the 'hard' problem of consciousness? - Quora

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You are speaking to a zombie. Classical digital computers and the software that they run are no more (or less) conscious than a rock. 'Watson' is just the folksy anthropomorphic name that you've given to a micro-experiential zombie. If you want to verify my insentience objectively, then you'll need a Zombie Detector. Originally marketed to jealous husbands and wives, Zombie Detectors are cerebroscopes using molecular matter-wave interferometry.


The Tricky Business of Measuring Consciousness

WIRED

The only thing you know for sure is that you are conscious. All else is inference, however reasonable. There is something in your head that generates experiences: the words you are reading on this page, the snore of a bulldog on a red carpet, the perfume of roses on a desk. Your experience of such a scene is exclusive to you, and your impressions are integrated into one unified field of perception. It is like something to be you reading, hearing a dog, smelling flowers.


Consciousness And The Inter Mind

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We Do Not See Objects We Detect Objects. 10 Arguments For The Conscious Mind. 4 Arguments For The Inter Mind. Developing An Artificial Inter Mind. 10 Conscious Artificial Intelligence Using The Inter Mind Model. 10 Human Consciousness Transfer Using The Inter Mind Model. 10 Reality Is A Simulation Using The Inter Mind Model. 10 If A Tree Falls In A Forest Using The Inter Mind Model. 10 The Big Bang happens and a new Universe is created. This Universe consists of Matter, Energy, and Space. After billions of years of complicated interactions and processes the Matter, Energy, and Space produce a planet with Conscious Life Forms (CLFs). In the course of their evolution the CLFs will need to See each other in order to live and interact with each other. But what does it really mean to See? A CLF is first of all a Physical Thing. There is no magic power that just lets a CLF See another CLF. A CLF can only Detect another CLF through some sensing mechanism which must be made out of Physical ...


Thinking Machines – Jason Allen Ashlock – Medium

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Like a film critic asked if the Oscars got it right this year, one has to feel a sense of standing too close to the frame, the field of vision too narrow to provide the context necessary for proper judgment. After spending an afternoon among the various installations that comprise "Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age: 1959–1989," I wonder if this anxiety applied to the team tasked with creating this exhibit. In this case, I think not. Here, closeness to the frame is a virtue, not a vice.


Making Law for Thinking Machines? Start with the Guns - Netopia

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The Bank of England's warning that the pace of artificial intelligence development now threatens 15m UK jobs has prompted calls for political intervention.