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Lecture Series in AI Ethics & Ethical AI : Consciousness, Buddhism, and Artificial Intelligence: a Conversation with Susan Blackmore

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Abstract

Consciousness is at once the most familiar and the most elusive phenomenon. What is it? Are we really conscious in the way we think we are? What about self-consciousness? Why do Buddhists say that there is no self? Can there be experience without an experiencer? What can we learn about consciousness by practising meditation? Can AI become conscious? Should conscious AI, if possible, be made? Does Buddhism imply a distinctive perspective on AI? ...

These intriguing questions and more will be explored in this conversation with Prof. Susan Blackmore, a world-renowned scholar in consciousness studies and a long-time meditation practitioner. Joining the conversation will be Prof. Zhihua Yao, a foremost expert in the Buddhist philosophy of mind, as well as several other philosophers puzzled yet excited by consciousness and AI.

Speaker's Biography

Susan Blackmore is a psychologist, lecturer, and writer researching consciousness, memes and religion, cultural evolution and AI. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, a TED lecturer, and often appears on radio and television. Her book The Meme Machine (1999) has been translated into 16 other languages; more recent books include Seeing Myself (2018) and the textbook Consciousness: An Introduction (3rd Ed 2018).

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