Tag Archives: Consciousness

Why AI can’t ever reach its full potential without a physical body

Mark Lee is Emeritus Professor in Computer Science, Aberystwyth University. “I have degrees in Electrical Engineering and Psychology and have worked in AI, robotics and CS for 40 years. I am a fellow of the IET and of the Learned Society of Wales. My research explores how robots might learn about the world in the same way that infants build up their understanding in the first few years. This approach (known as Developmental Robotics) contrasts with the Big Data and Deep Learning methods of modern Artificial Intelligence. My recent book, “HOW TO GROW A ROBOT: DEVELOPING HUMAN-FRIENDLY, SOCIAL AI” (MIT Press, 2020) explains these ideas, and their consequences, in detail.”

Better People Through Chemistry?

Many psychedelic proponents feel a need to ground their claims for the evaluative significance of chemically induced mystical experience in prior metaphysical claims about higher realities endowed with special moral authority. Herein, I recommend a shift in perspective according to which we need not posit moral supernature to justify the revelatory capacity of such experiences to tell us how to best act and be.

Consciousness: how can I experience things that aren’t ‘real’?

Philip Goff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Durham University. A philosopher and consciousness researcher, his research focuses on how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview.

“My first academic book, Consciousness and Fundamental Reality (Oxford University Press), was published in 2017 and my first book aimed at a general audience, Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness (Rider in UK, Pantheon in US), was published in November 2019.

I argue that the traditional approaches of materialism (consciousness can be explained in terms of physical processes in the brain) and dualism (consciousness is separate from the body and brain) face insuperable difficulties. On the basis of this I defend a form of panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. It sounds a bit crazy, but I try to show that it avoids the difficulties faced by its rivals.”

Science as we know it can’t explain consciousness – but a revolution is coming

Philip Goff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Durham University. His research focuses on how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview. His first academic book, ‘Consciousness and Fundamental Reality’ (Oxford University Press), was published in 2017 and his first book aimed at a general audience, ‘Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness’ (Rider in UK, Pantheon in US), was published in2019.

“I argue that the traditional approaches of materialism (consciousness can be explained in terms of physical processes in the brain) and dualism (consciousness is separate from the body and brain) face insuperable difficulties. On the basis of this I defend a form of panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. It sounds a bit crazy, but I try to show that it avoids the difficulties faced by its rivals.”

GPT-3: new AI can write like a human but don’t mistake that for thinking – neuroscientist

Guillaume Thierry is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Bangor University.

“I am passionate about the human mind and how it makes sense of the world around us. My research is devoted to understanding how we form concepts, consciously or unconsciously, how we manipulate them, through language or nonverbally, how we learn, remember, forget, and imagine. In my applied work, I strive to inspire individuals to attain higher state of awareness of the world and of themselves. I share real stories and construct fictional ones to entice the imagination of others and invite everyone along on the path to higher levels of insight, understanding, and joy.”

Is humanity doomed because we can’t plan for the long term? Three experts discuss

Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, Department of Experimental Psycology, University of Oxford. His research is concerned with trying to understand the behavioural, cognitive and neuroendocrinological mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates (in general) and humans (in particular).

Chris Zebrowski is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Loughborough University. His research analyses the concept of resilience in the context of the changing rationalities and practices of risk management and security.

Per Olsson is a Researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University. He is a transdisciplinary researcher and has worked in the interface of natural and social sciences and humanities. His current research focuses on agency and system entrepreneurship, social-ecological innovations, transformations to sustainability, and how to reverse current trends of crossing critical thresholds and tipping points in the Earth system.

In Posse: Making female sperm

Charlotte Jarvis is an artist and lecturer working at the intersection of art and science. Her practice often utilises living cells and DNA: “I have recorded music onto DNA, seen my heart beat outside of my body and am currently making the world’s first female sperm. My work explores the body as a liminal space – a site for transformation, hybridisation and magic”. In Posse is a work In progress: “A mission to make ‘female’ sperm from my own stem cells”.

Future Blueprint

Jasmine Pradissitto is an international artist, innovator, and speaker with a background in physics based in London. Inspired by nature, the human condition, the mythopoetic and a more sustainable future, her forms create a commentary on an unsustainable, increasingly Anthropocene world slowly being reshaped by the things we consume and then disregard. She creates work that builds awareness about diminishing air quality and biodiversity extinction.

Can plants think? They could one day force us to change our definition of intelligence

Stuart Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry, University of Westminster. His main interest is in the relationships between plant cell wall biochemistry, plant cell wall mechanical behaviour and plant physiology. His main research interest is how plants manipulate the chemical components of their cell walls in order to control their structural properties allowing cell expansion to occur in a controlled and regulated fashion.