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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?…

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

Science, Mindfulness & the Urgency of Reducing Suffering – Christof Koch
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Science, Mindfulness & the Urgency of Reducing Suffering – Christof Koch

In this interview with Christof Koch, he shares some deeply felt ideas about the urgency of reducing suffering (with some caveats), his experience with mindfulness – explaining what it was like to visit the Dali Lama for a week, as well as a heart felt experience of his family dog ‘Nosey’ dying in his arms,…

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…

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The future of neuroscience and understanding the complexity of the human mind – Brains and Computers

Two of the world’s leading brain researchers will come together to discuss some of the latest international efforts to understand the brain. They will discuss two massive initiatives – the US based Allen Institute for Brain Science and European Human Brain Project. By combining neuroscience with the power of computing both projects are harnessing the…

Building Brains – How to build physical models of brain circuits in silicon
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Building Brains – How to build physical models of brain circuits in silicon

Event Description: The brain is a universe of 100 billion cells interacting through a constantly changing network of 1000 trillion synapses. It runs on a power budget of 20 Watts and holds an internal model of the world.   Understanding our brain is among the key challenges for science, on equal footing with understanding genesis and…

Consciousness in Biological and Artificial Brains – Prof Christof Koch
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Consciousness in Biological and Artificial Brains – Prof Christof Koch

Event Description: Human and non-human animals not only act in the world but are capable of conscious experience. That is, it feels like something to have a brain and be cold, angry or see red. I will discuss the scientific progress that has been achieved over the past decades in characterizing the behavioral and the…

Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari – Steve Fuller
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Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari – Steve Fuller

My sociology of knowledge students read Yuval Harari’s bestselling first book, Sapiens, to think about the right frame of reference for understanding the overall trajectory of the human condition. Homo Deus follows the example of Sapiens, using contemporary events to launch into what nowadays is called ‘big history’ but has been also called ‘deep history’…

Michio Kaku – The Future of the Mind – Intelligence Enhancement & the Singularity
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Michio Kaku – The Future of the Mind – Intelligence Enhancement & the Singularity

Scifuture interview with popular scientist Michio Kaku on the Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance & Empower the Mind! The audio of this interview is found here. Dr. Michio Kaku advocates thinking about some of the radical Transhumanist ideas we all know and love – here he speaks on the frontiers of Neuroscience, Intelligence Enhancement, the…