Scientists ponder the possibility of quantum consciousness

As AI improves, the mystery of consciousness interests more programmers and physicists.

Karla Lant explains:
This is probably in part because of the way that the “observer effect” challenged one of science’s most basic tenets: that there is an objective, observable reality that exists whether we’re looking at it or not. The revelation that observing and measuring quantum effects changes their behavior is troubling, but it also suggests to many people that consciousness itself is part of quantum theory. Moreover, as humans creating AI that, for all its achievements still can’t master some of the things that come so easily to our own minds (at least not yet), we are bound to see a blurry reflection of ourselves in quantum computers, which promise to achieve so much more than ordinary computers ever could.

Is Your Mind Quantum? (YouTube / metaRising via Futurism)

Images: Jode B

Notable Replies

  1. I don't believe in human consciousness. If I were a conscious entity, I think I'd know, and I don't feel conscious.

  2. P-ZOMBIE! P-ZOMBIE!

    ["Body seems unclear, is it a complete sentence?" No, but if you're going to link two main clauses with a comma rather than a conjunction or a harder stop, don't lecture me about grammar.]

  3. I went to a talk by Penrose a few years ago with a few physicists. He was talking about a theory where you have periodic big bang-like events. My physicist friends had so many catty comments about how the talk was total bs. (Disagrees with observations, known conserved quantities, etc.)

    This talk seems very much in the same vein. He seems to be making an argument that seems very much like a god-of-the-gaps version of consciousness. i.e. consciousness is the magic sauce in the part of quantum mechanics that we don't understand.

    (In some ways, this is related to the Conway-Kochen argument http://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200226p.pdf that we only have free will if our component subatomic particles have free will.)

    Mostly, though, it seems like old physicist syndrome: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2556

  4. Q: "Is your mind quantum?"
    A: Betteridge's law.

    (Also, name the observable phenomenon that excludes classical physics as the mechanism of consciousness.)

  5. Consciousness is mysterious, quantum mechanics is mysterious therefore consciousness is quantum mechanical. Add embellishments to make it less obviously a false argument.

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