Published on November 5, 2023, 2:23 pm
In today’s world, where events may sometimes shake our belief in the goodness of humanity, it is comforting to know that these are, indeed, good times to be a thinking and conscious being. And for those who ponder the intricacies of consciousness itself, these times are even better. The scientific debate on this topic has never been more vibrant, and advancements in technology and political controversies have made the practical and philosophical questions surrounding consciousness increasingly urgent.
One pressing question that arises is whether artificial intelligence (AI) can become conscious. While some may speculate that AI already possesses consciousness, I would argue otherwise (but we will delve into that later). Additionally, state-of-the-art algorithms are being developed to manipulate our consciousness, potentially altering our perception of the world. Furthermore, there is ongoing speculation about which other creatures besides humans possess consciousness. Are fetuses aware? What about artificial neural organoids?
The answers to these questions hold profound implications for real-life scenarios. Consequently, it is crucial that we deepen our understanding of consciousness and related phenomena such as agency, free will, and sense of self. With so much at stake, it is essential that we strive for accuracy in our exploration of these weighty matters. Three books have recently emerged as notable contributions tackling these complex questions head-on.
In order to fully comprehend the significance of these works and their implications for society at large, let us turn our attention to them.
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