How much brain do you need to be intelligence?  What is intelligence, anyways?

It’s a question that comes up a lot in AI research.

Bees and ants perform marvels as colonies, though each individual insect has barely any brain.

Plants—with no brain at all—exhibit behaviors that, by any definition, count as intelligent.

Brace yourself for a mind-bending session from the World Science Festival.

Artificial sentience straddles the fields of philosophy and engineering.

Throw robots into the mix and it gets really interesting.

Seeker examines what it mean for a robot to be self-aware.

The Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University“At the Creative Machines Lab we build robots that do what you’d least expect robots to do: Self replicate, self-reflect, ask questions, and even be creative. We develop machines that can design and make other machines – automatically.”

It’s not surprising that the profound weirdness of the quantum world has inspired some outlandish explanations – nor that these have strayed into the realm of what we might call mysticism.

One particularly pervasive notion is the idea that consciousness can directly influence quantum systems – and so influence reality.

PBS Space Time examines where this idea comes from, and whether quantum theory really supports it. 

Very often I am asked when (or whether) we will create a conscious AI.

I scratch my chin and ask “how would you define consciousness?”

The answer usually involves something about “self-awareness.”

I then point out that by that definition, your car is conscious as it has a “check engine light,” which is part of a self-diagnostic loop.

Usually, I point out that consciousness is a subjective phenomenon – it’s “I think, therefore I am” and not “You think, therefore you are.”

I am fascinated with noted physicist Michio Kaku’s explanation on why feedback loops create consciousness.

Dr. Michio Kaku is the co-founder of string field theory, and is one of the most widely recognized scientists in the world today. He has written 4 New York Times Best Sellers, is the science correspondent for CBS This Morning and has hosted numerous science specials for BBC-TV, the Discovery/Science Channel. His radio show broadcasts to 100 radio stations every week. Dr. Kaku holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York (CUNY), where he has taught for over 25 years. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, as well as New York University (NYU).

Lex Fridman interviews David Chalmers in this thought provoking interview on consciousness.

David Chalmers is a philosopher and cognitive scientist specializing in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and consciousness. He is perhaps best known for formulating the hard problem of consciousness which could be stated as “why does the feeling which accompanies awareness of sensory information exist at all?” This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

0:00 – Introduction
2:23 – Nature of reality: Are we living in a simulation?
19:19 – Consciousness in virtual reality
27:46 – Music-color synesthesia
31:40 – What is consciousness?
51:25 – Consciousness and the meaning of life
57:33 – Philosophical zombies
1:01:38 – Creating the illusion of consciousness
1:07:03 – Conversation with a clone
1:11:35 – Free will
1:16:35 – Meta-problem of consciousness
1:18:40 – Is reality an illusion?
1:20:53 – Descartes’ evil demon
1:23:20 – Does AGI need conscioussness?
1:33:47 – Exciting future
1:35:32 – Immortality