Anil Seth’s TED Talk on what is consciousness.

What is consciousness? This is one of those questions that seems to be unanswerable, but according to Anil Seth consciousness is a form of controlled hallucination that we’re all having all the time. When we agree on our hallucinations we call that “reality.” He explains the idea behind this in a short TED Talk filmed this past April:

I find the concepts being explored in this fascinating and I wish it went into more depth. I’ll have to see if I can track down more on Anil’s work in this area.

One topic he touches on lightly that I found very interesting was his conclusion that sentient Artificial Intelligence is probably not going to be a problem because consciousness requires more than high intelligence to arise. I feel like there’s a good basis for a science fiction story in that idea, but I’ll be damned if I can nail it down.

Anyway, I thought this was both interesting and informative so I figured I’d share it.

5 thoughts on “Anil Seth’s TED Talk on what is consciousness.

  1. Hey Les. I saw this too and was also impressed. But I’m not sure I agree with him (at least theoretically) about the inability of AI to achieve consciousness based on its lack of a biological body with all its input (proprioception, etc). A robot could at least conceivably have all that built it, couldn’t it?

  2. In theory, yeah, a robot could have similar inputs, but they’d be approximations of what we experience as biological creatures. I’m not sure we entirely understand how the relationship between our senses and our brains mould consciousness so it’s quite possible our approximations in a robot wouldn’t result in quite the same effect.

    Or at least, that’s my best guess. I’m far from being an expert on the subject.

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