The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine – Scott Aaronson
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The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine – Scott Aaronson

Interview on whether machines can be conscious with Scott Aaronson, theoretical computer scientist and David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. His primary areas of research are quantum computing and computational complexity theory. Scott blogged about this and other segments of our interview – his blog…

The Winding Road to Quantum Supremacy – Scott Aaronson

The Winding Road to Quantum Supremacy – Scott Aaronson

Interview on quantum computation with Scott Aaronson, theoretical computer scientist and David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. His primary areas of research are quantum computing and computational complexity theory. Scott blogged about this and other segments of our interview – his blog is very popular…

Uncovering the Mysteries of Affective Neuroscience – the Importance of Valence Research with Mike Johnson

Uncovering the Mysteries of Affective Neuroscience – the Importance of Valence Research with Mike Johnson

Valence in overview Adam: What is emotional valence (as opposed to valence in chemistry)? Mike: Put simply, emotional valence is how pleasant or unpleasant something is. A somewhat weird fact about our universe is that some conscious experiences do seem to feel better than others.   Adam: What makes things feel the way they do?…

One Big Misconception About Consciousness – Christof Koch
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One Big Misconception About Consciousness – Christof Koch

Christof Koch (Allen Institute for Brain Science) discusses Shannon information and it’s theoretical limitations in explaining consciousness – Christof argues that we don’t need observers to have conscious experiences (other poeple, god, etc), the underlying assumptions behind traditional information theory assumes Shannon information – and that a big misconception about the structure of consciousness stems…

Anders Sandberg -The Technological Singularity

Anders Sandberg -The Technological Singularity

Anders gives a short tutorial on the Singularity – clearing up confusion and highlighting important aspects of the Technological Singularity and related ideas, such as accelerating change, horizons of predictability, self-improving artificial intelligence, and the intelligence explosion. Tutorial Video: Points covered in the tutorial: The Mathematical Singularity The Technological Singularity: A Horizon of predictability Confusion…

Juergen Schmidhuber on DeepMind, AlphaGo & Progress in AI
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Juergen Schmidhuber on DeepMind, AlphaGo & Progress in AI

In asking AI researcher Juergen Schmidhuber about his thoughts on progress at DeepMind and about the AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol Go tournament – provided some initial comments. I will be updating this post with further interview. Juergen Schmidhuber: First of all, I am happy about DeepMind’s success, also because the company is heavily influenced by…

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The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets with Simon Singh

You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama) without ever realizing that cleverly embedded in many plots are subtle references to mathematics, ranging from well-known equations to cutting-edge theorems and conjectures. That they exist, Simon Singh reveals, underscores the brilliance of the shows’ writers, many of whom have…

Julian Savulescu – Government & Surveillance
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Julian Savulescu – Government & Surveillance

If you increase the altruistic motivation of people, you decrease the risk that they will negligently fail to consider the possible harmful effects of their behaviour on their fellow-beings. Being concerned about avoiding such risks is part of what having altruistic concern for these beings consists in. Moreover, the advance of technology will in all…

Metamorphogenesis – How a Planet can produce Minds, Mathematics and Music – Aaron Sloman
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Metamorphogenesis – How a Planet can produce Minds, Mathematics and Music – Aaron Sloman

The universe is made up of matter, energy and information, interacting with each other and producing new kinds of matter, energy, information and interaction. How? How did all this come out of a cloud of dust? In order to find explanations we first need much better descriptions of what needs to be explained. By Aaron…