Director, AI, Mind and Society ("AIMS") Group
2019 Distinguished Scholar, US Library of Congress
Associate Prof., Philosophy and Cognitive Science
The University of Connecticut
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
YHouse, NY, New York
Ethics and Technology Group,
Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
I write about the fundamental nature of the self and mind, especially from the vantage point of issues in philosophy of mind, AI, astrobiology, metaphysics and cognitive science. The topics I’ve written about most recently include the mind-body problem, superintelligent AI, the nature of life, the mathematical nature of physics, whether the mind is a program, and the nature of the person. Discussions of my work have appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Science, Big Think, Nautilus, Smithsonian, Discover, PBS, and more (for some of this, see “media”, above). See "papers" in the menu for downloads (also available at Academia.edu).
NEWS, UPCOMING TALKS, ETC.:
- Catch my new Scientific American piece on emergent spacetime and the hard problem of consciousness.
- My test for AI consciousness (with Ed Turner) is discussed in the April 2018 cover story of Smithsonian Magazine.
- Catch me speaking on 2 panels at theWorld Science Festival.
- Upcoming TV/film: The History Channel (2 hour AI special), HBO,Supersapiens (click here for the cool film trailer).
- PBS TV: my Ideafest lecture on "alien minds" is televised.
- Keynotes (summer): "24 Hours" (tech meeting ofCEOs from some of the largest companies in Europe), "Varieties of Minds" (Cambridge Univ., Leverhulme Center),Duke's SSNAP neuroscience capstone conference, German Academy of Sciences (AI policy), AI/philosophy workshop (Univ. of Toronto). Upcoming keynotes: Harvard's faculty AI conference, next year's Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness meeting (ASSC).
- Catch me on AI consciousness at South by Southwest on AI with Christof Koch, Dave Chalmers and others (March).
- My AI work is being patented and developed (with exoplanet wiz, and YHouse colleague, Edwin Turner, as coinventor) and Princeton University. Click here for our new article at Scientific American and here for a piece on Bladerunner and our AI consciousness test in Smithsonian Magazine.
- New articles on my work at Inverse.com , Der Standard (Austria), Futurism.com, Respekt (Czech Republic), Popular Science, and the Future of Life Institute.
- My TED talk "Can a Machine Feel?" (And here's a fun blog discussion of it at the Splintered Mind).
- My new article on my NASA project in Nautilus on AI.
NEW ACADEMIC PAPERS, ETC.:
- Special issue on my work in the Journal of Consciousness Studies. Topic: On the Mathematical Nature of Physics.
- Panpsychism vs. idealism. See my "Idealism, or Something Near Enough."
- New paper on superintelligence and AI safety.
- Anthology coming out based on a recent conference on my work (with Springer), Minds, Selves and 21st Century Technology.
- Here's a short piece on AI consciousness for the Routledge Handbook in Neuroethics.
- Stay tuned for my trade/academic book on AI, the nature of life and mind, and more. (with Princeton Univ. Press' cool trade division).
- See my new: "What Breathes Fire into the Equations?"
- Link to talk on AI consciousness given at the Rubin Museum in NY.
- Working on projects atThe Institute of Advanced Study (in Princeton) and YHouse, a cool new think tank in NY devoted to consciousness. Here are links to the cool projects we are doing: writing tests for machine consciousness; sending minds to the stars (sentient interstellar probes).
- Conference on my work: Minds, Selves and Technology, with Susan Schneider.
- Here’s my two cents on what philosophers of mind should worry about (with Pete Mandik): How Philosophy of Mind can Shape the Future” (ends a 6 vol. history of philosophy of mind).*
- Here’s a video of a talk I gave to NASA on alien minds, which has led to my NASA supported project on AI in space. Discussions of this paper are in Science, Motherboard, CBS, Slate (France), The Daily Mail (UK), El Mundo (Spain) Popular Mechanics, IO9, etc. (see “media”).
- Syllabus for problems in philosophy.
- A new talk show episode on my work (available here and on CuriosityStream).
- See below for my interview with Robert Wright (Meaning of Life TV, BlogginheadsTV).