Categories
technology

Ceci n’est pas une automaton…

…entertaining but I suspect there is deep resonance here, if only we were able to sufficiently, efficiently, insightfully decompress it. The mechanisms and the technologies we make inhabit us every bit as much as we inhabit the world populated and inflated, made possible by them. How we do or do not respect those things is […]

Categories
Philosophy

Weird Science

Context: Why is quantum theory so strange? The weirdness could be in our heads The disconnect between experience and the counter-intuitive products of (a) material logic is endemic to cognition and it is, in essence, an irreducible discontinuity. It may change form as theory and popular narratives of science co-evolve but the foundational peculiarity and […]

Categories
Philosophy

Explaining Consciousness

Context: Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics? A common error is that we assert consciousness as an instance, the artefact of a fractal (in this context), and the narrow end of aspirations to explanatory closure and teleology more native to language than to information, matter, energy or natural computation. It is not the artefact […]

Categories
Philosophy

A Conscious Cosmos

Consciousness is, perhaps inevitably and as a function of psychological egoism, asserted as the ascendant peak of ordered information-processing significance but it is just as likely that our visceral experience of this complex, patterned experience and distributed computational system of matter and energy is only one, diminutive hyper-plane slice across a vast and plausibly unmeasurable […]

Categories
Philosophy

Some brief (if complex) agnostic observations on Machine Sentience

Context: How would we know if an AI is conscious? We find ourselves in an intractable ontological (as much as epistemological) bind here. If we ever get to the point of generating autonomous synthetic information-processing systems that tick all the boxes for notionally proving their possession of consciousness by whatever standard metric we might arbitrarily […]

Categories
Philosophy

Beautiful Brains and the Mystery of Unified Theories

An interesting consequence of generalised attributions of human exceptionalism is that we tend to automatically believe that all intelligence, all value and all experience exist (and persist) in this diminutive cranial cavity we inhabit. Cogito ergo something is definitely going on between our ears but there is a deep and irreducible mystery at work (i.e. […]

Categories
Philosophy

Is Consciousness Everywhere?

It is as likely that the autonomously self-propagating patterns of information and energy processing (of which consciousness is an instance or manifestation) are ubiquitously distributed; such that (what we experience as) intelligence, consciousness and the self-inflective logic of embodied complexity in life are indeed “everywhere”. It is not that what we are is anything radically […]

Categories
Philosophy

Ascending An Impossible Self-Disassembly of Infinitely-Extensible Emptiness

Some truths are only known by inversion, by negation and through a proof by contradiction. Alan Turing’s proof of the undecidability of non-trivially complex algorithms, that is – the impossibility of analysis to arrive at certainty concerning whether a given computer program will terminate or continue forever, was just such a proof. Kurt Gödel’s proof […]

Categories
AI

Can there be Conscious Machines?

A philosophical perspective: I accept that conscious machines are plausible, but I have trouble believing that the diverse algorithmic and networked approaches under development are anything beyond sophisticated, limited, mechanical or incomplete axiomatic models.  It provides reflexive psychological comfort to assert (and believe) that the hard problem of consciousness is explicable via a reductive algebra […]

Categories
culture technology

To Brain or not to Brain, that is the question (in AI Research)

To brain or not to brain, that is the question…

Categories
culture

Consciousness: Beyond Opposites

Consciousness will only ever be partially explained and even then, never in terms of the legacy polar opposites of mind and matter.

Categories
Philosophy

Disassembling Sentience: Distributed Multidimensional Computation

If we seek to explain sentience and consciousness we might not be particularly comforted by what we ultimately discover.