The rise of the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has led to the question whether these systems might soon be conscious. However, it might be that we underestimate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying human consciousness. First, the inputs to language models lack the embodied, embedded information content characteristic of our sensory contact with the world around us. Secondly, the architectures of present-day AI algorithms are missing key features of the thalamocortical system that have been linked to conscious awareness in mammals. Finally, the evolutionary and developmental trajectories that led to the emergence of living conscious organisms arguably have no parallels in artificial systems as envisioned today. The existence of living organisms depends on their actions and their survival is intricately linked to multi-level cellular, inter-cellular, and organismal processes culminating in agency and consciousness.
Jaan Aru is an associate professor at the Institute of Computer Science, University of Tartu. He did his PhD in the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research and obtained a Marie-Curie fellowship to do a post-doc with Matthew Larkum in Berlin. For his efforts in popularizing science, he has twice received the national science communication prize in Estonia. In 2019 he received the Young Scientist Prize from the President of Estonia.
O seminário será realizado em videoconferência, via Zoom.