Research in Action Series

Feb. 18

Susan Schneider, Ph.D.
William F. Dietrich Chair in Philosophy in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, in collaboration with FAU’s Brain Institute

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Artificial You: AI and The Future of Your Mind presented by Susan Schneider, Ph.D.

Tuesday, March 16 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Humans may not be Earth’s most intelligent beings for much longer: the world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy! are now all Artificial Intelligence (AI). Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future humanity? Schneider, a philosopher, urges that we must ask what AI can truly achieve’ rather than simply writing ‘what AI can truly achieve.’ It is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward. To flourish, we must grasp the philosophical issues lying beneath the algorithms. What AI can truly achieve: Can robots really be conscious? Can we merge with AI as tech leaders like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil suggest? Is the mind just a program? Examining these thorny issues, Schneider proposes ways we can test for machine consciousness, questions whether consciousness is an unavoidable byproduct of sophisticated intelligence and considers the overall dangers of creating machine minds.

Susan Schneider, Ph.D., William F. Dietrich Chair in Philosophy in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, in collaboration with FAU’s Brain Institute, writes about the fundamental nature of the self and mind, especially from the vantage point of issues in philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence (AI), astrobiology, metaphysics and cognitive science. Schneider is also a distinguished scholar at the Library of Congress and NASA. The topics she has written about most recently include the mind-body problem, super intelligent AI, the nature of life, the mathematical nature of physics and whether the mind is a program.

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Minds, Machines and Extended Consciousness

March 31, 11:00 AM

Could consciousness be extended into the world? In this talk, I discuss the extended mind approach to cognition which urges that we are already “natural born cyborgs” (Andy Clark). Even well-known proponents of this view, such as David Chalmers, have been skeptical that consciousness itself (as opposed to cognition) could be extended into the world. But I think they should be more optimistic. I focus on the question: could human consciousness be realized by non-neural parts that reside outside of the head? My answer is: it depends upon whether machine consciousness is possible. Further: I offer ways to run tests to determine whether it is. I further explain how we can use these tests to determine if the extended mind hypothesis is correct.

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Brains, Minds and Aliens

March 2021

Event sponsored by the FAU Brain Institute as part of the Brainy Days series in . This event will be free and open to the public and involve a speaker on SETI, as well as Susan Schneider, Ph.D., and hosted by Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D., executive director of the Brain Institute.

SCMS Critical Conversation Series: AI and Fairness in the Justice System

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Julia Dressel talks about her work on criminal justice reform at the technology firm Recidiviz. Panelists: Susan Schneider, Deitrich Chair of Philosophy, Jason Hallstrom, FAU ISense. Moderated by Gerald Sim, SCMS.