TED & Talks

Is panpsychism accurate? Modern physics delivers a reality check. | Dr. Susan Schneider

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If philosophers don’t try to mesh their long-held views with new scientific insights, then we have a problem.

– According to panpsychists, all of reality is infused with experience. In other words, the fundamental ingredient of reality, they believe, has the felt quality of experience in it.

– In this view, the reason that we humans are conscious is that we’re configured based on these fundamental experiential ingredients.

– If philosophers don’t try to mesh their long-held views with what we’re discovering from good science, then we have a problem. For instance, panpsychism may be due for for update: panprotopsychism, a view that says as these fundamental ingredients combine, they give rise to conscious experience and that those fundamental ingredients are “quasimental.”

Dr. Susan Schneider is the NASA/Baruch Blumberg Chair at the Library of Congress and NASA and the director of the AI, Mind and Society Group at the University of Connecticut. Her work has been featured by the New York Times, Scientific American, Smithsonian, Fox TV, History Channel, and more. Her two-year NASA project explored superintelligent AI. Previously, she was at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton devising tests for AI consciousness. Her books include The Language of Thought, The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, and Science Fiction and Philosophy. Her latest, Artificial You: AI and the Future of Your Mind, is available for pre-order: https://amzn.to/32VYJ2L

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