The Reality Report: Episode 119

Monday, 18 June 2018

Episode 119

The fourth episode in a series discussing free will with Mark Taylor. At this point we've temporarily moved on from free will to more general issues of consciousness. Mark concludes his explanation as to why Dennett rejects the "Cartesian Theatre" model of consciousness, leading me to bring up physicist Max Tegmark's description of consciousness as "the mind creating a model of itself". Mark relates this back to Douglas Hofstadter's idea of consciousness as a kind of feedback loop, while I suddenly remember something I'd seen wherein someone has managed to show how Conway's Game of Life (a type of cellular automaton) is able to model itself - some quite remarkable footage of this is included. This then leads to the question "Could an algorithm be conscious?", which I take to be an absurd notion but Mark is less keen to rule out...


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