- A Neural Dive into Computational Self-Awareness, Virtual Simulations, and the Other “You”
- Narrated by: Paul Metcalfe
- Length: 25 mins
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This audiobook explores Nick Bostrom's idea that a computer could theoretically create self-conscious programs within its own hardware.
From the introduction:
In the first assumption, one wonders if this computer itself has to be conscious, or whether by dint of its running, innumerable programs could - from its manifold complex algorithms - produce multiple applications that are themselves conscious, even if their computational host is not.
I say this in light of Stephen Wolfram’s controversial thesis in A New Kind of Science, where simple, rudimentary, and unconscious programs can - over time - produce intelligent creatures that exhibit self- awareness. This, of course, has parallels (though distinctively different) to the “Blind Watchmaker” idea (to crib one of Richard Dawkins’ more famous book titles), where amaurotic processes produce an opened eye-consciousness that can ruminate about its origins.
Darwinian evolution via natural selection suggests that, given enough time, elemental particles can and do cohere. Given the right environmental conditions and incentives, these fundamental compounds can produce not only self-replicating organisms, but ones with interior states of awareness.