Artificial Intelligence vs. Artificial Consciousness

Michael E. Zimmerman Futurism, Integral Live, Perspectives, Science & Technology, The Daily Evolver: Integral Insight Into Politics and Current Events, Video Leave a Comment

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The hopes and fears surrounding the advent of artificial intelligence are fantastical, from Ray Kurzweil’s promise of spiritual machines to Elon Musk’s warnings of killer robots. And yes, some version of that future is barreling toward us at an ever-increasing speed, says philosophy of technology professor Michael Zimmerman, who is Jeff’s guest today.

In this episode Michael and Jeff make important distinctions between artificial intelligence and consciousness itself. Machines may become incredibly capable of handling information (e.g. the phone in your pocket), they may be able to self-observe and learn, they may even be able to “present” as human. But will they ever hope and dream – or plot and scheme? Jeff argues that a system of material components, however complex, will never create a shred of interiority. Michael is not so sure, and offers a couple scenarios that give Jeff a scare!

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The What NOW Conference
December 29 - January 1

Welcome to the era of disruption.

It seems clear we are heading into one of the most disruptive periods of human history the world has ever known. And even now, what we currently see is just a hint of the incredibly disruptive forces that are waiting just behind the curtain — automation, genetics, artificial intelligence, etc. — ready to descend upon our civilization and force us to discover new strategies of coexistence.

But of course, in these times of rampant disruption there is also newfound opportunity for fresh ideas to emerge, to replace outmoded ideas that are generating an enormous amount of evolutionary friction, and to begin reshaping our notions of the world, our work, and our shared future.

This is why we are holding our What Now conference this New Year — to help you navigate and explore the era of massive worldwide disruption that we now find ourselves in, and to discover the inner resiliency and adaptability we need — not only to survive this breakneck era of transformation, but to thrive and actively participate in its unfolding.

Michael E. Zimmerman

About Michael Zimmerman

Michael E. Zimmerman is professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has written several essays about integral theory, with special emphasis on integral ecology Michael Zimmerman and Sean Esbjorn-Hargens have co-authored a book called Integral Ecology.

Jeff Salzman

About Jeff Salzman

Jeff Salzman spent the last few years as co-founder and a lead teacher at Boulder Integral, now The Integral Center. These days he travels, teaches and comments about current events on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.