Humans take psychedelics. Should robots?

Psychedelics are crude drugs. Could neuroscience and super-intelligent AI help us design something better?

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  • The illegal status of psychedelic substances is a terrible thing, says Ben Goertzel. With everything happening behind closed doors, our societies are not developing the right set of cultural institutions to guide people in the productive use of psychedelics.
  • Once scientists have mastered artificial general intelligence (AGI), the psychedelic experience could be engineered for the modern world – it would be safer, less haphazard, and more meaningful. We would "trip" by jacking our brains into the superhuman AGI mind cloud.
  • "We're going to be exploring states of consciousness that go way beyond anything we can imagine now and way beyond anything that the very crude psychedelic drugs that exist allow us access to," Goertzel says.
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Consciousness, panpsychism, and AGI: What is it like to be a hat?

What if consciousness isn't all about the brain?

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  • Panpsychism is the idea that there is an element of consciousness in everything in the universe. The theory goes like this: You're conscious. Ben Goertzel is conscious. And his hat is conscious too. What if consciousness isn't about the brain at all, but it's as inherent to our universe as space-time?
  • "Now, panpsychism, to me, is not even that interesting, it's almost obvious — it's just the foundation, the beginning for thinking about consciousness... " says Goertzel. It's what comes after that excites him, like the emerging technology that will let us connect our minds to bricks, hats, earthworms, other humans, and super AGIs like Sophia, and perhaps glimpse at the fabric of consciousness.
  • Goertzel believes brain-brain interfacing and brain-computer interfacing will unfold in the coming decades, and it's by that means that we may finally crack the nut of consciousness to discover whether panpsychism makes any sense, and to learn why humans are so differently conscious than, for example, his hat.
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Artificial general intelligence: The domain of the patient, philosophical coder

Sure, some expert-level knowledge is needed if you want to program artificial intelligence. But AI expert Ben Goertzel posits that you also need something that Guns N' Roses sang about: a lil' patience.

Technology & Innovation

Sure, some expert-level knowledge is needed if you want to program artificial intelligence. But AI expert Ben Goertzel posits that you also need something that Guns N' Roses sang about: a lil' patience. If you want instant gratification, this isn't the line of work for you. Ben's most recent book is AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence.

What it really takes to become an AGI programmer

AI expert Ben Goertzel is no stranger to building out-of-this-world artificial intelligence, and he wants others to join him in this new and very exciting field.

Technology & Innovation

AI expert Ben Goertzel is no stranger to building out-of-this-world artificial intelligence, and he wants others to join him in this new and very exciting field. That's why he co-founded iCog Labs in Ethiopia, and he's training people not through textbooks but online courses offered by the likes of MIT, Coursera, and Udacity. That way, they can learn about the many different skill sets needed to build AI much faster than a traditional educational route. Ben's latest book is AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence.