video: conversations, debates, and panels
★Possible Minds and Superintelligence. A debate/conversation with Dan Dennett, moderated by John Brockman, about AI and whether superintelligence is possible. Opening spiels start at 9:30 and debate starts around 29:00. (Pioneer Works, March 2019)
Superintelligence. A (very male and very crowded) panel discussion at the Asilomar conference on beneficial AI, with Elon Musk, Stuart Russell, Bart Selman, Ray Kurzweil, Nick Bostrom, Demis Hassabis, Sam Harris, Jaan Tallinn, Max Tegmark (chairing), and me. Despite the cast, it didn’t really work. (January 2017.)
What is Consciousness For?. A Skype conversation with the author Robert Wright on the function of consciousness, including bits and pieces on ideas of his and of mine. (October 2016)
The Mystery of Consciousness. A conversation on consciousness with the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, moderated by the physicist Marcelo Gleiser. A surprising amount of agreement (and a little disagreement on machine consciousness). (New York, October 2016)
★Consciousness is Bullshit. A “reverse debate” on consciousness with the physicist Carlo Rovelli at an FQXi conference on physics and the observer in Banff, Canada (hence the bear hats and hockey stick). Max Tegmark gave us two minutes notice that we were doing this debate, so this is completely off the cuff. I found myself becoming almost convinced of what I was saying. (Banff, August 2016)
What Machines Can’t Do: Will Computers Ever Match Human Intelligence? A discussion of AI with Kate Devlin and Hilary Lawson at the “HowTheLightGetsIn” philosophy festival in Wales. I was also in panels on experience with Peter Hacker and Susana Martinez-Conde (I’m only borderline coherent in this one, being just off a red-eye flight from New York) and self-discovery with Joanna Kavenna and Ed Stafford (I enjoyed this one the most, but the production quality is dodgy). (Hay-on-Wye, May 2016)
★Is the Universe a Simulation? – The 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History. Neil deGrasse Tyson moderates a discussion involving Zohreh Davoudi, James Gates, Lisa Randall, and Max Tegmark and me. Much fun ensues. (New York, April 2016)
★Conversation with Tom Stoppard on the Hard Problem – Tom Stoppard wrote a play called The Hard Problem, and the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (which put on the American premiere of the play) arranged a conversation between him and me, moderated by Liz Camp. Lots of interesting stuff here, especially when Stoppard agrees (around the 1:04 mark) that the play is really about the hard problem of value. There’s also another bootleg version online by my old friend Gary McGraw with better video of just that passage. (Philadelphia, December 2015)
★The Weirdness of Consciousness – A conversation with the philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about consciousness, moderated by the author Robert Wright. A nice group. (New York, November 2015)
★The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness – A pretty engaging discussion of consciousness with Danny Kahneman, Laurie Santos, and Nicholas Schiff at the New York Academy of Science. (New York, October 2012)
Artificial general intelligence. A discussion of AI and singularity issues with Ben Goertzel, Steve Omohundro, and James Newton-Thomas au the Australian Singularity Summit. (Melbourne, August 2011).
Do Brains Make Minds? An old Closer to Truth roundtable discussion with John Searle, Marilyn Schlitz, Fred Alan Wolf, and Barry Beyerstein. (In the old days, this was like CNN for intellectuals.) See also discussions with roughly the same group on What is Consciousness? and Strange Physics of the Mind. (Irvine, February 1999). Much later, Closer to Truth did a retrospective episode with Searle and me that started here.
Lateline on AI. A 1996 piece on the future of AI on the Australian ABC show Lateline, with Maxine McKew interviewing Rod Brooks, Doug Lenat, and me. My bits are between the 20-minute and 32-minute marks. (I was in a studio in San Jose, hence the awkward delays.) At 28:15 I describe the key idea of the singularity before I’d ever heard the term. (August 1996)
Contemplating Consciousness. An audio recording of a panel discussion on consciousness at the National Gallery of Australia with neuroscientist Olivia Carter and Buddhist scholar Alan Wallace. (Canberra, July 2017)