Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

TagRoger Penrose

Girls eye with paint and earth

Why Some Scientists Believe the Universe Is Conscious

They’re not mystics. But materialism is not giving good answers so they are looking around

These prominent thinkers are driven to panpsychism because materialism about the mind doesn’t really work. So if panpsychism ends up seeming absurd, dualism—there really is an immaterial world—is also worth considering.

Read More ›
jr-korpa-1151200-unsplash
Silhouette of a person with words and numbers in the background

The Mind Can’t Be Just a Computer

Gödel demonstrated that fact and Turing tried to live with it

Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that there are truths in mathematical logic that lie outside mathematical logic, which means that the mind cannot be understood simply as a computer.

Read More ›
jack-b-1197584-unsplash
Light in bokeh effect

Quantum Randomness Gives Nature Free Will

Whether or not quantum randomness explains how our brains work, it may help us create unbreakable encryption codes

When I was boy, my father explained free will and predestination to me: I dig a fence post hole. · Did I create the hole because of my own free will? · Or was the hole already there and I simply removed the dirt? If true, the hole was predestined. The question cannot be answered by examining the evidence. In philosophy terms, it is “empirically unanswerable.” That is the sort of stuff that philosophers debate. Religious people might point to scripture to support one conclusion over the other.1 In physics, however, quantum randomness offers a definitive answer to the question of predestination vs. free will—for subatomic particles. In the world of classical physics (Isaac Newton’s physics), it can be argued Read More ›

phad-pichetbovornkul-269226-unsplash
Aerial shot of artists and craters at work

Human Consciousness May Not Be Computable

One model of consciousness would mean that conscious computers are a physical impossibility
As long as computers simply get faster and use more memory, there is no reason to worry about a self-aware Skynet. Read More ›