Human and Machine Consciousness
Author: David Gamez (Trinity 1992)
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
Consciousness is widely perceived as one of the most fundamental, interesting and difficult problems of our time. However, we still know next to nothing about the relationship between consciousness and the brain and we can only speculate about the consciousness of animals and machines.
Human and Machine Consciousness presents a new foundation for the scientific study of consciousness. It sets out a bold interpretation of consciousness that neutralizes the philosophical problems and explains how we can make scientific predictions about the consciousness of animals, brain-damaged patients and machines.
Gamez interprets the scientific study of consciousness as a search for mathematical theories that map between measurements of consciousness and measurements of the physical world. We can use artificial intelligence to discover these theories and they could make accurate predictions about the consciousness of humans, animals and artificial systems. Human and Machine Consciousness also provides original insights into unusual conscious experiences, such as hallucinations, religious experiences and out-of-body states, and demonstrates how ‘designer’ states of consciousness could be created in the future.
Gamez explains difficult concepts in a clear way that closely engages with scientific research. His punchy, concise prose is packed with vivid examples, making it suitable for the educated general reader as well as philosophers and scientists. Problems are brought to life in colourful illustrations and a helpful summary is given at the end of each chapter. The endnotes provide detailed discussions of individual points and full references to the scientific and philosophical literature.