Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagJ. Scott Turner

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Robot with Artificial Intelligence observing human skull in Evolved Cybernetic organism world. 3d rendered image

Computer Takeover Won’t Happen, Say a Scientist and Philosopher

Jobst Landgrebe and Barry Smith say that the Singularity advocates are missing something fundamental about computers vs. humans

Scientist and entrepreneur Jobst Landgrebe and philosopher Barry Smith published a book last month that directly challenges the claim AI is becoming capable of human type thought and will run our world whether we like it or not. Here’s what critics are saying about Why Machines will Never Rule the World: Artificial Intelligence without Fear (Routledge, 2022) It’s a highly impressive piece of work that makes a new and vital contribution to the literature on AI and AGI. The rigor and depth with which the authors make their case is compelling, and the range of disciplinary and scientific knowledge they draw upon is particularly remarkable and truly novel. – Shannon Vallor, Baillie Gifford Chair, Edinburgh Futures Institute, The University of…

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Illustration of spiral arrangement in nature.  Golden Ratio concept

Quick Facts on IIT (the Leading Theory of Consciousness)

IIT may be part of a trend in science in which emergence and panpsychist theories are slowly replacing materialist and physicalist ones

Consciousness, as a concept, is so easy to experience and so hard to define. Or explain. The most popular current theory of consciousness is Integrated Information Theory (IIT), pioneered by neuroscientist Giulio Tononi and championed by Allen Institute neuroscientist Christof Koch. For the purpose of discussing IIT, science writer Mike Hogan works with this definition: Consciousness for purposes of this theory is defined as ‘self-awareness’ or the Central-Identity; the inner-voice that allows your brain to talk to itself, an awareness that ‘you’ exist, the rationalization of your own relevance to that existence, and an awareness of the cause and effect of your actions in regard to yourself and your environment. Mike Hogan, “The Best Available Story of Human Consciousness” at…

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close up of a red ant face in white

Can Insects, Bacteria, and Plants Have Personalities Too?

If personality amounts to observed individual differences in behavior, the answer is yes, though the issues are more complex for plants

Yesterday, we looked at a paper in which researchers reported that marmosets (a South American monkey) have personalities. Most of us would simply assume that they do and we are right to think so. Research on many vertebrate animal species shows that even reptiles and fish have personalities. Of course, the number of dimensions a vertebrate’s personality can have varies with its intellectual and lifestyle complexity. But now, what about the vast world of the invertebrates, the life forms whose body is not organized around a spinal cord terminating in a brain? Their body plans can vary from that of a starfish through to a honeybee. Can they have personalities, despite very different brain arrangements, including — in some cases…