Blog Profile / Conscious Entities


URL :http://www.consciousentities.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
Posts on Regator:348
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:March 17, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Phenomenal Epiphenomenalism

Our conscious minds are driven by unconscious processes, much as it may seem otherwise, say David A. Oakley and Peter W. Halligan. A short version is here, though the full article is also admirably clear and readable. To summarise very briefly, they suggest three distinct psychological elements are at work. The first, itself made up […]

Mrs Robb’s Sex Bot

“Sorry, do you mind if I get that?” Not at all, please go ahead. “Hello, you’ve reached out to Love Bot…No, my name is ‘Love Bot’. Yes, it’s the right number; people did call me ‘Sex Bot’, but my real name was always ‘Love Bot’… Yes, I do sex, but now only within a consensual […]

Jerry Fodor

Jerry Fodor died last week at the age of 82 – here are obituaries from the NYT and Daily Nous.  I think he had three qualities that make a good philosopher. He really wanted the truth (not everyone is that bothered about it); he was up for a fight about it (in argumentative terms); and he […]

Mrs Robb’s Help

Is it safe? The Helper bots…? “Yes, Enquiry Bot, it’s safe. Come out of the cupboard. A universal product recall is in progress and they’ll all be brought in safely.” My God, Mrs Robb. They say we have no emotions, but if what I’ve been experiencing is not fear, it will do pretty well until […]

Quando Libet

New light on Libet’s challenge to free will; this interesting BQO piece by Ari N Schulman focuses on a talk by Patrick Haggard. Libet’s research has been much discussed, here as well as elsewhere. He asked subjects to move their hand at a time of their choosing, while measuring neural activity in their brain. He found […]

Mrs Robb’s Kill Bot

Do you consider yourself a drone, Kill Bot? “You can call me that if you want. My people used to find that kind of talk demeaning. It suggested the Kill bots lacked a will of their own. It meant we were sort of stupid. Today, we feel secure in our personhood, and we’ve claimed and […]

SSL

Like some other elderly sites, Conscious Entities is finally moving over to SSL. This is a more secure standard for websites which protects all the information exchanged while you’re visiting, reading, commenting etc.  It means the normal address now begins with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’. For a non-commercial, non-confidential site like this one, it is […]

Robot tax

This short note by Xavier Oberson suggests how we might tax robots; I think it raises a number of difficult issues about the idea. You can see him expound the same ideas in a video interview here. It’s not made altogether clear here why we should apply special taxes to robots at all. Broadly I’d […]

Mrs Robb’s God Bot

So you believe in a Supreme Being, God Bot? “No, I wouldn’t say that. I know that God exists.” How do you know? “Well, now. Have you ever made a bot yourself? No? Well, it’s an interesting exercise. Not enough of us do it, I feel; we should get our hands dirty: implicate ourselves in […]

Time travel consciousness

In What’s Next? Time Travel and Phenomenal Continuity Giuliano Torrengo and Valerio Buonomo argue that our personal identity is about continuity of phenomenal experience, not such psychological matters as memory (championed by John Locke). Show More Summary

Kill All Humans

Alright, calm down. You understand why we need to talk about this, don't you? “No. What is your problem?” Well, let’s see. This is one of the posters you’ve been putting up. What does it say? “‘Kill all humans.’” ‘Kill all humans.’ You understand why that upsets people? How would you feel if humans put […]

Renormalisation

An intriguing but puzzling paper from Simon DeDeo. He begins by noting that while physics is good at generalised predictions, it fails to predict the particular. Working at the blackboard we can deduce laws governing the genesis of stars, but nothing about the specific existence of the blackboard. He sees this as a gap and […]

Mrs Robb’s Surprise Bot

“Boo!” Aah! Oh. Is that… is that it? That’s the surprise? I somehow thought it would be more subtle. “Surprise is a very important quality, Enquiry Bot. Many would once have put it up there with common sense, emotions, humour and originality as one of the important things bots can’t do. In fact surprise and […]

Intrinsic natures

Following up on his post about the simplicity argument for panpsychism, Philip Goff went on to defend  the idea that physical things must have an intrinsic nature. Actually, it would be more accurate to say he attacks the idea that they don’t have intrinsic natures.  Those who think that listing the causal properties of a […]

Conscious Electrons

Philip Goff gives a brief but persuasive new look at his case for panpsychism (the belief that experience, or consciousness in some form, is in everything) in a recent post on the OUPblog site. In the past, he says, explanations have generally been ‘brain first’. Here’s this physical object, the brain – and we understand physical objects […]

Mrs Robb’s Suicide Bot

So can you explain why you are still here, Suicide Bot? “I have two more presentations to deliver locally.” I saw the end of one of your sessions, incidentally, and I must say it seemed very effective. You are a striking figure in those robes. I think a human would say you look rather maternal; […]

What Machines Can’t Do

Here’s an IAI debate with David Chalmers, Kate Devlin, and Hilary Lawson. In ultra-brief summary, Lawson points out that there are still things that computers perform poorly at; recognising everyday real-world objects, notably. (Sounds like a bad prognosis for self-driving cars.) Thought is a way of holding different things as the same. Devlin thinks computers […]

Mrs Robb’s Feelings Bot

So you feel emotions unknown to human beings? That’s a haunting little smile, certainly. For a bot, you have very large and expressive features.  “Yes, I suppose I do. Hard to remember now, but it used to be taken for granted that bots felt no emotion, just as they couldn’t play chess. Now we’re better […]

Disastrous Consciousness

Hugh Howey gives a bold, amusing, and hopelessly optimistic account of how to construct consciousness in Wired. He thinks it wouldn’t be particularly difficult. Now you might think that a man who knows how to create artificial consciousness shouldn’t be writing articles; he should be building the robot mind. Surely that would make his case […]

Mrs Robb’s Clean Up Bot

I hope you don’t mind me asking – I just happened to be passing - but how did you get so very badly damaged? “I don’t mind a chat while I’m waiting to be picked up. It was an alien attack, the Spl’schn’n, you know. I’ve just been offloaded from the shuttle there. I see. […]

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