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Web Site This is an ethical and philosophical look at Artificial Intelligence and society in the future. Four scenarios are proposed. IBM knows that increasing processor might, storage capacity and network connectivity must report to some kind of systemic authority if we expect to take advantage of its potential.

The human body's self-regulating nervous system presents an excellent model for creating the next generation of computing, autonomic computing -- computing systems that regulate themselves and remove complexity from the lives of administrators and users. Web Site Computational natural selection, in which the phenotype to fitness mapping is an emergent property of the evolving environment and competition is biotic rather than abiotic, is a paradigm that aims towards the creation of open-ended evolutionary systems.

Within such an environment, increasingly complex behaviours can emerge. Web Site An experiment to uncover the world's funniest jokes has found that some computer-generated gags can be more amusing than those thought up by humans. The Laugh Lab survey is is trying to search out the world's funniest jokes. Researchers at Edinburgh University's computer science laboratory contributed five computer-generated gags. These are characterized by simple word play and most were voted to be very poor, such as "What kind of line has sixteen balls?

A pool cue! A cereal killer," did surprisingly well, ranking higher than a third of all other jokes. Jason Rutter, a research fellow at Manchester University, says: "Humor is a very interesting way to look at artificial intelligence because at some point something has to have two meanings, which is not easy to do with a computer. Were a computer able to do this, it could perhaps be considered intelligent. Web Site Both pieces: The Cyc project, now 18 years old, has been attempting to build an enormous database of commonsense knowledge into a AI system that can begin to approach the kind of commons sense knowldege we take for granted.

It codiefies the knowledge contained in a sentence like, "People stop buying things after they die," into formal computer logic. Architecture for Intelligent Systems Sowa, J. Web Site This paper proposes a framework for intelligent systems that consist of specialized components together with logic-based languages that can express propositions then dynamically change the architecture of the system to react to those propositions in three ways: 1: a human knowledge engineer who specifies a script of speech acts that determine how the components interact; 2: a planning component that generates the speech acts to redirect the other components; or 3: by a committee of components, which might include human assistants, whose speech acts serve to redirect one another.

The components communicate by sending messages to a blackboard, in which components accept messages that are either directed to them or that they consider themselves competent to handle. Web Site Using a neural network, Alan McCabe, an IT researcher at James Cook University in northern Queensland, has developed a software-based results tipster for Australian Rugby League - although it could just as easily be adapted for soccer, baseball or cricket.

The program outperforms the best human tipsters. Evolving Inventions Koza, John R. Web Site John Koza's team has created genetic programs which are different from genetic algorithms that have duplicated 15 previously patented inventions, including several that were hailed as seminal in their respective fields when they were first announced. Six of the 15 were patented after January by major research institutions, an indication that they represent cutting edge technology.

Some represent new inventions by duplicating the functionality of the earlier device in a novel way. One is a clear improvement over its predecessor. Says the article: "Genetic programming has also classified protein sequences and produced human-competitive results in a variety of areas, such as the design of antennas, mathematical algorithms and general-purpose controllers. We have recently filed for a patent for a genetically evolved general-purpose controller that is superior to mathematically derived controllers commonly used in industry.

Models of Intelligent Systems. Lecture 4: The Artificial Intelligence Debate. Lecture Notes. Bird, Dick. Web Site Objective: To give an appreciation of the main issues in the debate about artificial intelligence. Staring into the Singularity Yudkowsky, Eliezer S. Web Site Yudkowsky's own words sum up the substance of this essay: "If computing speeds double every two years, what happens when computer-based AIs are doing the research? Computing speed doubles every two years. Computing speed doubles every two years of work.

Computing speed doubles every two subjective years of work. Two years after Artificial Intelligences reach human equivalence, their speed doubles. One year later, their speed doubles again. Six months - three months - 1. Plug in the numbers for current computing speeds, the current doubling time, and an estimate for the raw processing power of the human brain, and the numbers match in: That means that what took a year of number crunching in takes less than an hour nowadays, and a desktop computer from that era can't match the processing power of one of today's pdas. But the article says that increased complexity comes with a price.

It means systems tend to break down more often as well as run more sophisticated programs faster. A group of scientists at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley is designing systems that recover rapidly when they break down. They call the approach recovery-oriented computing ROC. Web Site Unlike conventional bulk optics, which operate on a physical scale many times larger than the wavelengths of light used in optical communications, NanoOpto's modular nano-optics feature nano-scale structures much smaller than the wavelengths of light.

These tiny structures interact "locally" with light to produce a wide range of optically useful effects, some familiar, others novel and unique to NanoOpto's technology. The revolutionarily small dimensions of nano-optics allow multi-layer integration, yielding complex optical components - on a chip - with a broad range of applications, and create fundamentally new approaches to optical system design. MadSim - a tool for simulating biological neuronal networks Mader, W.

German researchers have created MadSim, which can pass depolarizing and hyperpolarizing currents through electrical synapses. From the site: "Further features include the selective export of simulation results in ASCII, easy comparison of simulation results, downward compatibility with BIOSIM and export and import of single neurons and selected parts of a network. Furthermore, graphical parameters like color, size and name of a neuron or the appearance of a result window can be modified. Web Site Severely disabled people who cannot operate a motorised wheelchair may one day get their independence, thanks to a system that lets them steer a wheelchair using only their thoughts.

It can help detectives distinguish between deaths caused by murder, suicide, accident or natural causes. The idea is to help investigators undertake the difficult task of mentally juggling different crime scenarios. Right now detectives tend to try to confirm a single hypothesis that strikes them as most likely.

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This can lead to them asking witnesses leading questions rather than looking at all possible scenarios. Touchstone Books. Web Site A fascinating look at the evolution of the microbes that made us possible, how they have shaped all of life and even the rapidly evolving technologies all around us. Some truly startling insights about the future, especially in the books final chapters. To borrow a phrase from Lweis Thomas: it'll leave you "permanently startled" because it turns so much of our human centric points of view about evolution on theier head. Web Site Most organic traits are transmitted by genes in the DNA, but scientists have found a separate code in the genome written in chemical marks outside the DNA sequence that can have a dramatic effect on the health and appearance of oganisms.

This epigentic code may explain why some disease skip generations or effect only one in pair of identical twins. This could have an effect on human intelligence and, very likely, the evolution of the brain. Ambitious plan to give sight to the blind "Ambitious plan to give sight to the blind," press release from Sandia Laboratories, www.

The electrodes will be positioned on the retinas of those blinded by diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Our Mind Electric? Tipper, Liezel, "Our Mind Electric? Web Site Description of McFadden's theory that the mind is an electromagnetic field. Consciousness - the hardest problem in science Tipper, Liezel, "Consciousness - the hardest problem in science.

Optical biopsies on horizon using noninvasive biomedical imaging technique developed by Cornell-Harvard group "Optical biopsies on horizon using noninvasive biomedical imaging technique developed by Cornell-Harvard group" Cornell News , June 11, Web Site An advance in biomedical imaging enables noninvasive microscopy scans through the surface of intact organs or body systems, producing images of diseased tissue at the cellular level with unprecedented detail.

November The remainder — 98 percent in humans — has often been dismissed as junk. But now rsearchers are discoverting two vast, but largely hidden, layers of information that affect inheritance, development and disease.. These hidden genes work work through RNA , rather than protein. These genes tend to be short and difficult to identify. But some of them play major roles in the health and developments of plants and animals. This is the same effect -- stochastic resonance -- that neurons use to communicate in biological brains.

Develops New Neuroscience Tools," Cornell Daily Sun , February 24, Web Site Second harmonic imaging of membrane potential offers a new opportunity to watch neural circuits functioning in real time. Web Site Doctorow compares the Singularity to classic mystical belief systems. Web Site Patrick Andrews, managing director of Break-Step Productions, a Cambridge-based consultancy, says he has developed a shape-recognition system called Foveola that closely mimics the human visual system.

Web Site Highlights some current key research areas and points out the variability in estimates of total neural connections. Uniform polarity microtubule assemblies imaged in native brain tissue Dombeck, Daniel A. Web Site Second-harmonic generation SHG imaging provides a tool to investigate the kinetics and function of Microtubule MT ensemble polarity in dynamic native brain tissue structures and other subcellular motility structures based on polarized MTs. Scientific American. Web Site An exploration of the concept of mind uploading.

Web Site Bell focuses on two things.

One: You can't separate the physical from the information, at least in the brain. The two are so intertwined and interfere with one another so fundamentally that they work differently than a computer which uses separate hardware to run the software information. Two: The brain unlike a computer does not work in a "feed-forward" sort of way. Cause does not always lead to effect, at least not in simple ways.

Looking closely at the "interferences" within the brain may make it clearer that there are feed-forward effects within loops. We just haven't been able to to look this closely. Web Site Charles has always had difficulty remembering things. People's names, their birthdays, the spellings of words, proper grammar, important dates, history facts, et cetera - all are difficult for Charles.

Recently, he started using an electronic device to assist him. It also, conveniently, does simple math much faster than Charles does. He cannot help wondering, however, how much better it would be if his mind could interface with a computer directly. What if he was simply aware of a computer, or maybe, what if he lived in a computer as a program?

Technology is increasing in power faster than ever, how long could it be before Charles could upload himself into a computer? Would that be possible at all? Upload Your Mind Kaufman, Ben. Kaufmann writes that a personal computer routinely performs ten billion operations in a second while a typical cell releases its electrical pulse only ten times in a second. But neurons are many and they operate in parallel. A further factor of might be included to allow any information stored in the shape or amplitude of the pulses to be included.

This is a lot. Fast current supercomputers can perform 36 teraflops a second. However, Moore's Law and the Law of Accelerating Returns indicates that by computers will emerge with roughly the same processing speed as the human brain see figure 1 on web page. Kaufman concludes that "there is no fundamental reason why a neuron couldn't be flawlessly mimicked by a solid-state, transistor-based device Do this billion times, and you have a reverse-engineered digital version of yourself.

You don't have to understand how the brain does what it does, you've just copied all of the information and the ways in which that information flows. Scientists develop technique that uses ultrafast lasers to obtain high-quality images of brain tissue "Scientists develop technique that uses ultrafast lasers to obtain high-quality images of brain tissue," UCSD Science and Engineering Press Release, July 2, Web Site A new tool to map the production of neurotransmitters and other proteins involved in communication between cells and normal cell function and create a 3-D image of the tissue.

Web Site This is a site from the Center for the Neural Basis of Consciousness which provides an overview of the work being done there. It focuses on how the brain creates higher cognitive functions; nice combination of bits and molecules. Directed by Bruce H. Bright Building on the College Station campus. The predecessor of the laboratory, the Scientific Visualization Laboratory, was established in as a result of Dr.

McCormick's participation as chair of the NSF panel that recommended a national program in scientific visualization. The laboratory was recently renamed to reflect its research focus today on brain mapping and cortical network modeling. Web Site Ralph Merkle describes a way for the brain to be probed while frozen by systematically removing each molecule, repairing it, if necessary, or replacing it with a new molecule and then returning it to its rightful place.

October 4, Web Site Report Mission Statement: To debate the issues around the concept of backing up the human brain by scanning and recording the program and data therein, including practical techniques. Web Site Neuroscientists will be able to use both SAGE serial analysis of gene expression and microarrays to make a catalogue of the cell types that comprise the brain. This should take us a good deal closer to uploading. This technology will radically alter society in many ways, as science fiction authors have begun to illustrate.

Through this server, explore the science behind the science fiction!

No date. Web Site CalTech the home of Richard Feynman is working on mapping the human brain and others in detail on three fronts: Analysis of neuronal connectivity; atlases of the developing brain; creating software that will knit all of the imaging together into a high resolution atlas. Designed to combine multiple kinds of imaging and scansinto a master brain map. Web Site Links to scientists who won McKnight awards for groundbreaking neuroscience work.

Awardees include Bernardo Sabatini , M. Karel Svoboda , Ph. Methods Volume 30, Issue 1, Pages Academic Press. May Web Site Outlines technique for automating reconstruction of 3D brain map using confocal and multiphoton laser scanning. Can represent both global and local structural variations, with enough res for accurate 3D analyses and realistic biophysical modeling.

Provides tool for automated digitization and reconstruction of brain area that captures detail on spatial scales spanning several orders of magnitude, and that runs on a standard desktop workstation! Neuroengineering: Remote control Hoag, Hannah. Web Site A new technique using ultrafast lasers to slice and record images of brain tissue has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of scientists headed by physicists at the University of California, San Diego UCSD.

The technique provides a new way to automate and modernize the study of tissues at the microscopic level, and map the production of neurotransmitters and other proteins involved in communication between cells and normal cell function, which are produced in different regions of the brain. What are Complex Adaptive Systems? Fryer, P.

Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World

Web Site Overview of Complexity theory. Differentiates between the merely complex and complex adaptive systems, those that adjust, evolve and learn like the brain. Outlines the properties of Complex Adaptive Systems as: emergence, co-evolution, sub optimal performance, requisite variety, connectivity, simple rules, iteration etc Web Site It comes down to this: How can a "self", a conscious being emerge from inanimate matter to go on to explore itself.

Hofstadter explores so many angles, and uses so many creative tools among them the works and thinking of Godel, Escher and Bach on his journey, that startling insights are a natural result. A brief paper that lays out Kurt Godel's Incompleteness Theorem in a simple and elegant way without doing damage to the math. Followed on the heels of James Gleick's Chaos and profiles several of the leading thinkers who founded the Sante Fe Institute.

Holland based on reviews I've read, not on reading the book itself attempts and mostly succeeds at explaining complex systems and how they can emerge from a relatively small set of simple rules constrained generating procedures - cgp's from life to brains to human affairs. He also holds that emergence theory can help us build a better world. If scientists can understand and apply the knowledge they gather from studying emergent systems, he wonders if we can use it to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and biological machines as well as control aspects of the world we've found elusive like economies, businesses, ecosystems, life and consciousness.

Web Site A straightforward description of how complexity emerges from simple systems. Web Site Edelman and Tononi tackle everything in this book. They don't shy away from any of the big questions and attempt, based on current research, to address how the brain delivers to us a sense of self. Theory is backed up with observation and experiments, some conducted at Edelman's Neurosciences Institute.

Edelman and Tononi don't resolve everything at any stretch, but the thing about Edelman is he's daring yet rigorous. There's a lot of "how many angels can fit on the head of a pin" discussion in this piece as well as other philosophical pieces on qualia which gets us not very far. Chalmers, after a big wind up, ultimately admits that the so called easy problems of consciousness which he calls "awareness" as opposed to "experience" qualia can be, or will be explained, by physical capabilties.

These include: "the ability to discriminate, categorize, and react to environmental stimuli; the integration of information by a cognitive system; the reportability of mental states; the ability of a system to access its own internal states; the focus of attention; the deliberate control of behavior; the difference between wakefulness and sleep. He writes: "A nonreductive theory of experience will add new principles to the furniture of the basic laws of nature.

These basic principles will ultimately carry the explanatory burden in a theory of consciousness. Just as we explain familiar high-level phenomena involving mass in terms of more basic principles involving mass and other entities, we might explain familiar phenomena involving experience in terms of more basic principles involving experience and other entities.

Conscious experience is not directly observable in an experimental context, so we cannot generate data about the relationship between physical processes and experience at will. Where he advances the thinking into new territory is when he invokes Shannon's theories about information. That information states exist extrinsically in information spaces. That there is a correlation beyween an "it" and a "bit" which means that experience has an objective correlate somehow, a thing that is being experienced, and if that is the case then it is not magical or empheral or beyond explanation - there must be something physical going on that takes that it and transforms it into a bit.

Reward Yourself

But, what then of the thoughts that we ourselves fabricate within our own minds? Are these physical? When we think about ourselves, or our own thinking, do those things about which we have thoughts exist as part of the universe's information system, an in formation state in an information space? Do we transform a bit into an it and back again? This iterative quality of human reflection may be what makes the "hard problem" so hard. It oscillates, like a wave.

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When machines can do transform bits into its and its into bits again, they will indeed be spiritual. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 1 Special Issue - Part 2 Web Site Dennett takes on Chalmers and his assertion that experience qualia is the "hard problem" and it can only begin to be explained if you look at it as a fundamental property of the universe like mass and gravity, undeniably there, but still inexplicable at least so far scientifically. Dennett says that you can't separate the easy problem explanations of awareness and perception like seeing and shifting attention from the hard problem the redness of red, the feeling of a breeze, sadness felt over a lost one.

Dennett holds that detailed explanations of how we become aware, how we perceive the easy problem will result in the hard problem evaporating just as explanation of reproduction, growth, metabolism, immunology essentially help resolve the associated hard problem: what is life? It's cleverly done. Dennett's Abstract: The strategy of divide and conquer is usually an excellent one, but it all depends on how you do the carving.

Chalmer's attempt to sort the "easy" problems of consciousness from the "really hard" problem is not, a useful contribution to research, but a major misdirector of attention, an illusion-generator. How could this be? Let me describe two somewhat similar strategic proposals, and compare them to Chalmers' recommendation. Such patterns encode for subjective conscious experiences such as pain and pleasure, or perceiving colours.

Because by quantum mechanical definition virtual photons are the theoretical constituents of electric and magnetic fields, the former hypothesis can be re-formulated as follows: it is the highly ordered patterns of virtual photons that encode for subjective conscious experiences. The contribution of neuronal networks to consciousness was to generate highly ordered patterns of germs of subjectivity virtual photons , so allowing complex subjective conscious experiences.

Due to the omnipresence of virtual photons, it follows finally that the whole universe must be imbued with subjectivity. An experimental strategy is proposed to test the hypothesis. Forthcoming in the Journal of Consciousness Studies Pretty exhaustive look at the science and philosophy behind efforts to link the the brain to the mind. Multiple points of view prrsented. Thinking About Thought Scaruffi, Piero, Thinking about Thought.

Web Site A survey of big thinking about the mind and consciousness heavily influenced by Scaruffi's believe that consciousness and menory is in varying degrees a property of all matter, living or not. If you bend it enough ot will fold and begin to "remember" the bending. Qualia Tye, Michael. Web Site Summary and definition of qualia and key questions relating to it.

What is it. Where does it come from. Can it be reduced to an anatomical explanation. History etc. A good primer. Web Site A very solid explanation and discussion of qualia. What it is, examples, arguments regarding irriducibility. There are some nice thought experiments here see section 4 "Functionalism and Qualia" - the China-body thought experiment.

From the article: Section 5: "Qualia and the Explanatory Gap. Some say that the explanatory gap is unbridgeable and that the proper conclusion to draw from it is that there is a corresponding gap in the world. Experiences and feelings have irreducibly subjective, non-physical qualities Jackson , Chalmers Others take essentially the same position on the gap while insisting that this does not detract from a purely physicalist view of experiences and feelings.

What it shows rather is that some physical qualities or states are irreducibly subjective entities Searle Others hold that the explanatory gap may one day be bridged but we currently lack the concepts to bring the subjective and objective perspectives together. On this view, it may turn out that qualia are physical, but we currently have no clear conception as to how they could be Nagel Still others adamantly insist that the explanatory gap is, in principle, bridgeable but not by us or by any creatures like us. Experiences and feelings are as much a part of the physical, natural world as life, digestion, DNA, or lightning.

It is just that with the concepts we have and the concepts we are capable of forming, we are cognitively closed to a full, bridging explanation by the very structure of our minds McGinn On this view, there is nothing in the gap that should lead us to any bifurcation in the world between experiences and feelings on the one hand and physical or functional phenomena on the other. There aren't two sorts of natural phenomena: the irreducibly subjective and the objective.

The explanatory gap derives from the special character of phenomenal concepts. These concepts mislead us into thinking that the gap is deeper and more troublesome than it really is. A Neurocomputational Perspective Churchland, P. A Neurocomputational Perspective. MIT Press. Web Site From a review: This is philosophy of mind at its best.

Not for the intellectually timid, the ideas presented threaten to thoroughly revolutionize our understanding of mind and its place in the world, if only we are sufficiently daring to explore them. Churchland writes in a clear, compelling and entertaining style; his theses fit together to form an elegant overall perspective, and are always carefully argued. Well-informed about the relevant empirical research, he also has a confident command over the deep and complex philosophical issues involved. Consciousness Explained Dennet, Daniel, C. Consciousness Explained. Little, Brown and Company. Web Site Dennet tackles everything in this book with characteristic wit and audacity.

The chapter that matters regarding the question of qualia begin on page to , "Qualia Disqualified. If all humans were color blind, then there would be no such thing as green and red, only gred, and only the experience of gred, although Martians who are not color blind could see red and green. It's all in the mind and experience of the beholder, but the information that causes the experience isn't. In this sense he's not all that far from Chalmers. From Amazon's review: "Dennett argues against the myth of the Cartesian theater--the idea that consciousness can be precisely located in space or in time.

To replace the Cartesian theater, he introduces his own multiple drafts model of consciousness, in which the mind is a bubbling congeries of unsupervised parallel processing. Finally, Dennett tackles the conventional philosophical questions about consciousness, taking issue not only with the traditional answers but also with the traditional methodology by which they were reached. Artificial Minds Franklin, Stanley, P. Artificial Minds. Web Site From Booklist: "Franklin's tour of contemporary thought on human, animal, and artificial minds introduces creative theories, models, and prototypes of artificial intelligence.

After citing the scoffers' arguments regarding the improbability of fashioning artificial minds, Franklin examines some systems that do, in fact, exhibit aspects of intelligence. Next is a debate on the potential usefulness of symbolic AI computer models of cognition versus the connectionism brain model of intelligence. Penguin Books. Web Site In this book Tononi and Edelman devote a whole chapter to the issue of qualia.

They call it the most daunting problem of consciousness. Four concepts underpin their belief that qualia can be explained by physical processes in the brain and body, although they are highly complex and science cannot yet explain everything. The four concepts: 1. You have to have a body and brain to experience qualia. No objective description of qualia no matter how complete is the same as the experience itself. You can trace each quale down to specific groups of neurons that are creating the experience. The earliest qualia are the result of multi-modal discriminations carried out even before birth by the proprioceptive, kinesthetic and autonomic systems, largely in the brain stem so they are very ancient and very deep.

All other qualia, no matter how complex, are built on these foundations. E and T tackle the problem by first looking at how we experience color. This is a quale that many believe has defied explanation, but T and E look at current research to explore how the visual cortex and eyes create the experience of color by looking precisely at what neurons fire when someone perceives the color red and which ones do not when they say they do not.

They use this as a basis for further explaning how qualia emerge from a neural reference space that is linked closely with the dynamic core. This means that while different experiences can be isolated or differentiated by looking at the activity in the brain, the experience of any given quale must also be tightly linked to the constant reentrant activity of the "dynamic core" for it to be a conscious experience.

Otherwise we are unaware of it. In Reply Humphrey, Nicholas. Journal of Consciousness Studies "In Reply. Here's a summary of that from Publisher's Weekly: "In a highly stimulating, unorthodox inquiry that cuts across many disciplines, experimental psychologist Humphrey argues that raw sensation, not thought, is the central fact of consciousness.

Furthermore, he claims, mental activities other than the five senses enter consciousness only when accompanied by "reminders" of sensation, as with mental imagery. He posits two separate channels of the mind--one for sensation or subjective feelings, another for perception or objective knowledge of the external world.

These two channels Web Site Consciousness has a number of apparently disparate properties, some of which seem to be highly complex and even inaccessible to outside observation. To place these properties within a biological framework requires a theory based on a set of evolutionary and developmental principles.

This paper describes such a theory, which aims to provide a unifying account of conscious phenomena. He believes that consciousness is the result of evolutionary selective pressures that brought it into existence, but that the selections weren't for consciousness itself but for an increasingly refined ability to descriminate enormous amounts of internal and external input at the same time. Consciousness was an unitended consequence. In effect this is me talking , and emergent behavior. He puts it this way: "If, as I have suggested, the neural systems underlying consciousness arose to enable highorder discriminations in a multidimensional space of signals 8 , qualia are those discriminations.

Differences in qualia correlate with differences in the neural structure and dynamics that underlie them. Thus, for example, olfactory neurons and their circuits differ from retinal neurons and circuits, and such differences seem sufficient to account for differences in their respective qualia. These reflections apply as well to complex scenes, and I have stressed that it is the distinctions among the entire set of experienced qualia that allow the specific defining property of each quale to appear 8.

Hybrid Cognition Worden, R. Lives of a Cell Thomas, Lewis. Web Site A common theme of Lewis Thomas, one of the great scientific essayists to ever come down the pike, is "selfness. It even redefines the concept of technology and biology is technology simply biology by another name? We see these trends in the cyber world as well. Houghton Mifflin Company Web Site In this chapter, beginning on page 59, Jaynes outlines the features of consciousness.

Three of them specifically apply to the question of "Who am I? He essentially sees consciousness as an analog the what we are experiencing in the world with ourselves as the main character. Metamagical Themas Hoftstadter, Douglas,R. Metamagical Themas. Basic Books. Douglas Hofstadter lays into one of the big questions that so many scientists avoid when considering strong AI and the possibility that machines may someday become conscious: the subconscious.

What is the substrate, the unconscious processes out of which consciousness itself emerges? He doesn't answer the question, but at least he raises it. Early Life. Jones and Bartlett Publishing. A fascinating look at the importance of cooperation and symbiosys in evolution which has interesting applications now in the digital world. Web Site Dennett explains who we are this way: We are a Center of narrative Gravity, a series of connected stories we tell about our behavior inside and outside. All of the phenomena of human consciousnessare"explicable as 'just' the activities of a virtuial machinerealized in the astronomically adjustable connections of the human brain," P.

We are, he effectively says, the program, the software that runs on the computer that is the human brain. Is this the same as being the emergent behavior that results from the complex interactions of the human brain and body and the world we experience as well as the interactions within the the brain that we create?

Web Site Gregoiry Paul and Earl Cox look at the cyber future, artifical intelligence, the singularity, human consciousness and everything in between as they gamely and often entertainingly attempt to outline a future where evolution makes cyberleaps that will lead to immortality and godlike powers. A very readable introduction to the concepts of the singularity to those not very familiar with them. An Anthropologist on Mars Sacks, Oliver. An Anthropologist on Mars. Vintage Books. Web Site Sack's humanistic, yet scientifically solid, explorations of "other minded" people shed light and cause us to question our own conscious experiences.

Stories include an autistic author who relates to animals better than humans, a surgeon whose Tourette's Syndrome subsides when he begins to operate, a man who lost his memory in and lives perpetually in a present that is actually a receding past. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Singularity by Norman Matthews. Arnold Soper owns a world class pharmaceutical company in Toronto.

The company is on the verge of obtaining a patent on a miraculous new drug for Alzheimer's. The profit potential is enormous. Soper falls into a mysterious coma and a conspiracy to take over the company ensues. Bradley Soper, the eldest son of Arnold Soper, returns from Vancouver to Toronto when he finds that he has a half-brother there. Aside from his estranged father, the boy is his only living relative. Murder, blackmail and treachery follow. This book bristles with action and high tech intrigue. Will Brad take over the company? Will a foreign acquisition occur?

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