Opinion 'There's Just No Doubt That It Will Change the World': David Chalmers on V.R. and A.I.

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Over the past two decades, the philosopher David Chalmers has established himself as a leading thinker on consciousness. He began his academic career in mathematics but slowly migrated toward cognitive science and philosophy of mind. He eventually landed at Indiana University working under the guidance of Douglas Hofstadter, whose influential book "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" had earned him a Pulitzer Prize. Chalmers's dissertation, "Toward a Theory of Consciousness," grew into his first book, "The Conscious Mind" (1996), which helped revive the philosophical conversation on consciousness. Perhaps his best-known contribution to philosophy is "the hard problem of consciousness" -- the problem of explaining subjective experience, the inner movie playing in every human mind, which in Chalmers's words will "persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained."