Preview of “Automata”

When one ponders the possibilities of the future of robotics and “artificial” intelligence (perhaps more properly “synthetic intelligence” once we’ve actually got it figured out), one usually looks to hard science fiction books. Isaac Asimov in particular comes to mind.

A few movies have done an ok job, including the interesting but also very flawed “I, Robot” with Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan, and Terminator: Salvation…. Both were at least decent movies, but neither felt particularly realistic and both tried to pull on our emotions in fairly obvious ways that felt anything but organic… more

Presentation of Integrated Information Theory at Mind Guild July 8, 2014

The monthly Mind Guild will meet again Tuesday July 8th in the Conference Room (222) of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. In the next several meetings the Guild will attempt to cover several of the current approaches to understanding consciousness and dealing with the “hard problem” as described by philosopher David Chalmers. Chalmers’ own views will be covered in a later meeting, however the upcoming meeting will focus on two perspectives on Integrated Information Theory (IIT).

Initially proposed by Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin, IIT has reached its 3rd iteration. The core underlying idea is that subjective experience is intrinsic to information, and that consciousness experience can be defined as the irreducible integrated information of a network. Physicist Max Tegmark took expanded upon the idea to explore IIT with regards to physical systems generally in the paper “Consciousness as a State of Matter” (see a video of Tegmark lecturing about his recent paper). In the meeting this concepts will be explained and explored in greater detail.

Previous topics covered in the Mind Guild have included philosopher John Searle’s views, the thalamocortical loop theory …

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