What does a Robot want?

Why did the robot get out of bed in the morning?  Because it wanted something.  It had some interest, desire or motivation.  Otherwise why bother to move at all?  Why remember a new fact if it’s not interesting.  Why walk from point A to point B unless it serves some purpose? While it’s true that… Read More »

Artificial Intelligence requires Consciousness

Consciousness is not “nice to have” in an intelligent robot.  It’s a requirement.  Consciousness is how intelligence works.  As I wrote previously: Consciousness is a parallel world outside of – but highly synchronized with – reality, where concepts are represented with rich interrelationships to allow predictions to be made. That world resonates in harmony with reality,… Read More »

Metagenetics

Let’s assume that the observed diversity of human traits always follows the developmental mechanism described in the previous post, that all humans are born with pretty much the same DNA, but develop different talents based on (anticipated) environmental triggers picked up by innate detectors. Ambitious people would have their motivations, desires and temperament set at an… Read More »

Should robots be banned?

I can imagine a charismatic politician like Donald Trump suggesting that all robots be banned.  Why?  Because many of his followers fear being displaced and thrown out of work by fast food robots, self-driving taxis and driverless delivery trucks. Most educated people can’t imagine this would happen.  But educated people are relatively rare.  Most voters don’t… Read More »

“Born with” doesn’t mean “genetic”

Imagine, for a moment, that your personality (e.g. whether you’re an introvert or extrovert) is determined, not at conception, but after a few weeks of pregnancy.  How would that work? Here’s an idea… Assume we humans all have the same developmental (genetic) script: if <event XYZ is detected> then <develop into introvert> else <develop into extrovert> What… Read More »

Gene Drive

Gene drive is a technology that can “drive” a specific gene throughout an entire population.  For example, you can use gene drive to introduce a lethal gene into a few disease causing mosquitoes.  They will pass along that specific gene to all their offspring. Usually, you can’t predict which version of a gene that offspring will… Read More »

People differ

The recent issue of The Atlantic contains two interesting and related articles.  The first article is a psychological profile of Donald Trump.  The  second describes the latest scientific findings related to Free Will… namely, that we have none. The Trump article mentions that followers — people with an “authoritarian personality” — are drawn to charismatic leaders like… Read More »

Neurons as Free Agents

All human instincts are encoded in our DNA.  We’re born with them.  Each neuron in the brain has a complete copy of DNA. Therefore, any individual neuron could decide to implement an instinct.  It has all the information it needs. First, it would need to ask around to see if that instinct has already been… Read More »

Problem of Consciousness – Solved!

The problem of consciousness is this: we don’t know where our conscious “feelings of awareness” come from.  I’m aware of my sensations and emotions.  I observe vibrant colors and musical sounds as if I were watching a movie.  Yet no scientist has ever located a mechanism of consciousness in the brain (itself merely a physical… Read More »