107 minutes | Feb 28, 2021

BI 099 Hakwan Lau and Steve Fleming: Neuro-AI Consciousness

Hakwan, Steve, and I discuss many issues around the scientific study of consciousness. Steve and Hakwan focus on higher order theories (HOTs) of consciousness, related to metacognition. So we discuss HOTs in particular and their relation to other approaches/theories, the idea of approaching consciousness as a computational problem to be tackled with computational modeling, we talk about the cultural, social, and career aspects of choosing to study something as elusive and controversial as consciousness, we talk about two of the models they’re working on now to account for various properties of conscious experience, and, of course, the prospects of consciousness in AI. For more on metacognition and awareness, check out episode 73 with Megan Peters. Hakwan’s lab: Consciousness and Metacognition Lab.Steve’s lab: The MetaLab.Twitter: @hakwanlau; @smfleming.Hakwan’s brief Aeon article: Is consciousness a battle between your beliefs and perceptions?Related papersAn Informal Internet Survey on the Current State of Consciousness Science.Opportunities and challenges for a maturing science of consciousness.What is consciousness, and could machines have it?”Understanding the higher-order approach to consciousness.Awareness as inference in a higher-order state space. (Steve’s bayesian predictive generative model)Consciousness, Metacognition, & Perceptual Reality Monitoring. (Hakwan’s reality-monitoring model a la generative adversarial networks) Timestamps0:00 – Intro7:25 – Steve’s upcoming book8:40 – Challenges to study consciousness15:50 – Gurus and backscratchers23:58 – Will the problem of consciousness disappear?27:52 – Will an explanation feel intuitive?29:54 – What do you want to be true?38:35 – Lucid dreaming40:55 – Higher order theories50:13 – Reality monitoring model of consciousness1:00:15 – Higher order state space model of consciousness1:05:50 – Comparing their models1:10:47 – Machine consciousness1:15:30 – Nature of first order representations1:18:20 – Consciousness prior (Yoshua Bengio)1:20:20 – Function of consciousness1:31:57 – Legacy1:40:55 – Current projects
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