10 Living Philosophers and Why You Should Know Them

Sure, the old Greek guys from 2,400 years ago get all the glory. But these living philosophers have a ton to say about life, the universe, and everything as it relates to right now. 

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Are we more than just our bodies? Philosophers argue over zombies.

Philosophers David Chalmers and Daniel Dennett argue over “philosophical zombies,” created to question the nature of human consciousness.

Participants take part at the Zombie Walk Duesseldorf along the Rheinuferpromenade on September 6, 2015 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
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Even AI Creators Don't Understand How Complex AI Works

'Deep learning' AI should be able to explain its automated decision-making—but it can't. And even its creators are lost on where to begin.

We might be able to crack how complex machine learning works — but does anyone have the time?

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AI Is Evolving on Its Own. Does That Make It Dangerous?

Philosopher Daniel Dennett believes AI should never become conscious — and no, it's not because of the robopocalypse.

If consciousness is ours to give, should we give it to AI? This is the question on the mind of the very sentient Daniel Dennett. The emerging trend in AI and AGI is to humanize our robot creations: they look ever more like us, emote as we do, and even imitate our flaws through machine learning. None of this makes the AI smarter, only more marketable. Dennett suggests remembering what AIs are: tools and systems built to organize our information and streamline our societies. He has no hesitation in saying that they are slaves built for us, and we can treat them as such because they have no feelings. If we eventually understand consciousness enough to install it into a robot, it would be unwise. It won't make them more intelligent, he says, only more anxious. Daniel Dennett's most recent book is From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds.

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Here's Why Evolution Can Be "Survival of the Friendliest"

The state of nature isn't a "war of all against all." Even no-brainer bacteria "know" that sometimes the game is "Survival of the Friendliest"

Illustration by Julia Suits, The New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

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