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?…

Physicalism & Materialism – John Wilkins
| | | |

Physicalism & Materialism – John Wilkins

Materialism was a pre-socratic view that for something to be real it has to be matter – physical stuff made of atoms (which at the time were considered hard like billiard balls – fundametal parts of reality).  The reason these days the term physicalism is used is because it can describe things that aren’t matter…

On Consciousness, Qualia, Valence & Intelligence with Mike Johnson
| |

On Consciousness, Qualia, Valence & Intelligence with Mike Johnson

Andrés Gómez Emilsson joined in to add very insightful questions for a 3 part interview series with Mike Johnson, covering the relationship of metaphysics to qualia/consciousness/hedonic valence, and defining their terms, whether panpsychism matters, increasing sensitivity to bliss, valence variance, Effective Altruism, cause prioritization, and the importance of consciousness/valence research . Andrés Gómez Emilsson interviews…

Ethics, Qualia Research & AI Safety with Mike Johnson
| |

Ethics, Qualia Research & AI Safety with Mike Johnson

What’s the relationship between valence research and AI ethics? Hedonic valence is a measure of the quality of our felt sense of experience, the intrinsic goodness (positive valence) or averseness (negative valence) of an event, object, or situation.  It is an important aspect of conscious experience; always present in our waking lives. If we seek to…

Moral Enhancement – Are we morally equipped to deal with humanities grand challenges? Anders Sandberg
| | | |

Moral Enhancement – Are we morally equipped to deal with humanities grand challenges? Anders Sandberg

The topic of is controversial (and often misrepresented); it is considered by many to be repugnant – provocative questions arise like “who’s morals?”, “who are the ones to be morally enhanced?”, “will it be compulsory?”, “won’t taking a morality pill decrease the value of the intended morality if it skips the difficult process we normally…

Amazing Progress in Artificial Intelligence – Ben Goertzel
| | | |

Amazing Progress in Artificial Intelligence – Ben Goertzel

At a recent conference in Beijing (the Global Innovators Conference) – I did yet another video interview with the legendary AGI guru – Ben Goertzel. This is the first part of the interview, where he talks about some of the ‘amazing’ progress in AI over recent years, including Deep Mind’s AlphaGo sealing a 4-1 victory…

All Aboard The Ship of Theseus with Keith Wiley
| | |

All Aboard The Ship of Theseus with Keith Wiley

An exploration of the philosophical concept of metaphysical identity, using numerous variations on the infamous Ship of Theseus thought experiment. Video interview with Keith Wiley Note: a separate text interview is below. Keith Wiley is the author of A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading, available on Amazon. The ship of Theseus, also known as Theseus’…

Heavy-Tailed Distributions: What Lurks Beyond Our Intuitions?
| | | |

Heavy-Tailed Distributions: What Lurks Beyond Our Intuitions?

Understanding heavy-tailed distributions are important to assessing likelihoods and impact scales when thinking about possible disasters – especially relevant to xRisk and Global Catastrophic Risk analysis. How likely is civilization to be devastated by a large scale disaster or even go extinct? Anders discusses how heavy-tailed distributions account for more than our intuitions tell us….

AI: The Story So Far – Stuart Russell
| |

AI: The Story So Far – Stuart Russell

Awesome to have Stuart Russell discussing AI Safety – a very important topic. Too long have people been associating the idea of AI safety issues with Terminator – unfortunately the human condition seems such that people often don’t give themselves permission to take seriously non-mainstream ideas unless they see a tip of the hat from…