The future of the mind: Exploring machine consciousness

What if consciousness is just a blip in the universe, a momentary flowering of experience that is unique to life in early technological civilizations—but eventually vanishes?

  • The hard problem of consciousness, as coined by the philosopher David Chalmers, asks: Why must we be conscious? Given that the brain is an information processing engine, why does it need to feel like anything to be us?
  • The problem of AI consciousness is equally complicated. We know humans are conscious, but when it comes to AI, the question is: Could the AIs that we humans develop be conscious beings? Could it feel like something to be them? And how could we possibly know for sure, short of them telling us?
  • How might superintelligence render consciousness extinct? Over 6 chapters in this video, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider explores the philosophical problems that underlie the development of AI and the nature of conscious minds.
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Androids that offer "digital immortality" begin mass production in Russia

A company claims to make the world's first humanoid android and offers 'digital immortality".

Promobot
  • Promobot, a Russian company, makes the world's first humanoid android.
  • The model Robo-C robot can't walk but has a sophisticated personality AI.
  • The android can be made to look like any human.
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Conscious machines: How will we test artificial intelligence for feeling?

A review of the multifaceted questions we'll ask to determine whether robots have a felt quality of experience — an "inner feel."

  • The reason we entertain thought experiments such as reincarnation and an afterlife is because we're sentient beings. These concepts are innate to our experiences as conscious human beings.
  • The ACT test probes A.I. to examines whether it can grasp these questions — i.e., the mind existing separately from the body, or the system without the computer. If so, then there's reason to believe it's a conscious being.
  • For machines to develop consciousness, they will need to have the right architectural features. For instance, for humans we possess a working memory, attention, and brain stems — all of which serve as the neural basis of our conscious experience. If there is a machine analog to these things, then it may suggest that the machines are conscious as well.
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How will AI and robotics transform jobs of the future?

We can either be fearful of artificial intelligence, or embrace it as a tool to help us improve service.

  • Artificial intelligence is already here and it has been taking care of mundane tasks and advising professionals of its findings to help improve service. For instance, doctors refer to A.I.'s findings on x-rays when developing treatment plans for patients.
  • In Latvia and China, artificial intelligence programs are already handling small claims in courts of law. This helps free up legal experts to focus on cases that transcend routine offenses.
  • Robotics is changing the manufacturing industry because drones and robots are increasingly capable of handling mundane work, monotonous jobs that many humans might find tiring.
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Wells Fargo report: A.I. will cut 200,000 American bank jobs over next decade

Increasingly sophisticated automation technology can save big money for banks by paring down the workforce.

Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash
  • Wells Fargo report predicts over 200,000 jobs will be lost.
  • The banking industry is investing $150 billion a year into tech.
  • Automation technologies are becoming increasingly more sophisticated.
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