Ask Sophia the Robot: What can AI teach humans?

Through experiencing time in a nonlinear way, can artificial intelligence provide us more perspective?

  • Is Sophia the Robot, of Hanson Robotics, conscious? Not quite, she says. Instead, she reflects the consciousness of humans in the same way the moon reflects the light of the sun.
  • While we don't know if humans possess free will, she advises us to act as if we do. We can benefit from this.
  • So, what can humans learn from robots? Artificial intelligence can view the world in a way that's more objective, being present while still able to look toward the future and the past.

This brain balancing act allows consciousness

Two types of thinking have a time-sharing deal going on in your brain.

Image source: paulaphoto/shjk/Big Think
  • Your DMN and DAT neural networks cooperate by staying out of each other's way.
  • FMRI scans reveal a surprising temporal dance.
  • When both systems are at the same activity level, boom, you're unconscious.
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Being dominant in the bedroom can boost your work ethic

Studies have shown that dominant sexual activity can often boost your work ethic several days after a sexual experience.

Photo by Kopytin Georgy on Shutterstock
  • Sex is a complex and intricate human experience that involves many different neurological processes.
  • Different sexual activities can alter this process, causing different combinations of hormones to be released.
  • Being dominant during sex can cause altered states of consciousness that include heightened concentration and communication, better decision-making processes, and boosted self-confidence, all of which can help you excel in the workplace even days after your sexual experience.

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Tiny area of brain may be 'engine of consciousness', scientists suggest

A recent study on monkeys found that stimulating a certain part of the forebrain wakes monkeys from anesthesia.

Jon Olav Eikenes via Flickr
  • Scientists electrically stimulated the brains of macaque monkeys in an effort to determine which areas are responsible for driving consciousness.
  • The monkeys were anesthetized, and the goal was to see whether activating certain parts of the brain would wake up the animals.
  • The forebrain's central lateral thalamus seems to be one of the "minimum mechanisms" necessary for consciousness.
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This is how an illusionist targets your unconscious mind

Juggling conscious experience with the machinations of the mind can create the ultimate audience experience.

  • Magicians are actually very effective applied psychologists. They're familiar with the workings of both the conscious and unconscious mind.
  • During his act, renowned psychological illusionist Derren Brown uses the technique of bafflement to bypass participants' conscious filters and get a maximum response to the trick.
  • Derren Brown returns to the stage with his new live, one-man show, Showman. Check it out here.
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