Machines will follow a path that mirrors the evolution of humans. Ultimately, however, self-aware, self-improving machines will evolve beyond humans’ ability to control or even understand them. - Ray Kurzweil
47 blocks • 24 days ago
I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing, [...] which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time. [...] Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: [...] the Self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious.
— Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 195–196.
How does our biology give rise to the experience of consciousness? In this talk Anil Seth will argue, using innovative combinations of theory and experiment, that our brains are prediction machines inventing our world and correcting our mistakes by the microsecond. Anil's new perspective on consciousness has shed light on the nature of the self, free will, the intimate relationship between being alive and being aware - and the possibility of conscious machines.
JUDITH BUTLER is influenced by Lacanian psychoanalysis, phenomenology (Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, George Herbert Mead, etc.), structural anthropologists (Claude Levì-Strauss, Victor Turner, Clifford Geertz, etc.) and speech-act theory (particularly the work of John Searle) in her understanding of the "performativity" of our identities. All of these theories explore the ways that social reality is not a given but is continually created as an illusion "through language, gesture, and all manner of symbolic social sign" ("Performative" 270). A good example in speech-act theory is what John Searle terms illocutionary speech acts, those speech acts that actually do something rather than merely represent something. The classic example is the "I pronounce you man and wife" of the marriage ceremony. In making that statement, a person of authority changes the status of a couple within an intersubjective community; those words actively change the existence of that couple by establishing a new marital reality: the words do what they say. As Butler explains, "Within speech act theory, a performative is that discursive practice that enacts or produces that which it names" (Bodies 13). A speech act can produce that which it names, however, only by reference to the law (or the accepted norm, code, or contract), which is cited or repeated (and thus performed) in the pronouncement.