Consciousness

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Do Computers Have To Be Conscious To Think? (Mapping Great Debates)

As there are quite a number of computer scientists in the course, let’s try and make this click. 15 years ago, a company called MacroVU decided to create posters mapping great debates related to the question “Can Computers Think?”, the main link to which you can find at http://affect-reason-utility.com/ai/ai.html — totally clickable!

One of the more interesting sub-questions was “Do computers have to be conscious to think?”, the link to which is here http://affect-reason-utility.com/ai/CCTMap6.html – if you click either on portions of the map or on the links below it, you’ll be able to navigate the entire reasoning of the subsections, the direct links to which are below (you can click the resulting images as well, to get deeper into the debate):

Now, you won’t get the most recent status of the debates of course (a lot changes in 15 years), but you will get some of the basic (philosophical) arguments linking consciousness with AI. So if you’re familiar with some foundational issues in AI but not with consciousness, this may be an angle. Also interesting for non-computer scientists of course, as it contains some of the issues at the very core of consciousness studies.

This is an interactive version of some of the posters, with the consciousness one somewhat represented here.


2 Comments

  1. Kyra says:

    This idea fascinated me when Rama brought it up today in his lecture, so I’m happy to see it’s here on the blog. But the links don’t work in this article! How can I find them? Thank you!

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