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RECENT FORUM POSTS

Jim Snowdon: "It`s the cognitive grasp of the Earth`s rotational motion! Our conscious..." in The Nature of Time

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Nicholas hosein: "Iwrote the above when I had perfect clarity." in Good Vibrations

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Nicholas hosein: "This bears some resemblance to my statement from 2014 on these forums,..." in Reconstructing Physics

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RECENT ARTICLES
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Good Vibrations
Microbead 'motor' exploits natural fluctuations for power.

Reconstructing Physics
New photon experiment gives new meta-framework, 'constructor theory,' a boost.

The Quantum Engineer: Q&A with Alexia Auffèves
Experiments seek to use quantum observations as fuel to power mini motors.

The Quantum Clock-Maker Investigating COVID-19, Causality, and the Trouble with AI
Sally Shrapnel, a quantum physicist and medical practitioner, on her experiments into cause-and-effect that could help us understand time’s arrow—and build better healthcare algorithms.

Connect the Quantum Dots for a New Kind of Fuel
'Artificial atoms' allow physicists to manipulate individual electrons—and could help to reduce energy wastage in electronic devices.


FQXi BLOGS
January 23, 2022

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Why a little bit of causal structure is necessary... even for functionalists by Larissa Albantakis
By LARISSA ALBANTAKIS • Dec. 30, 2021 @ 21:40 GMT

One of the easiest ways of testing a theory of consciousness is to apply it to a room full of people — 3 awake adults, for example. If the theory cannot identify (at least) three consciousnesses there is a problem. Yet, almost no proposal to date has the theoretical tools to approach this problem without presupposing brains as the seats of experience (IIT being a notable exception, see also Fekete et al. (2016)). Crucially, causal analysis is the only way to address this individuation problem as I will argue by means of a thought experiment inspired by Searle’s Chinese Room Argument, which I titled “The Greek Cave”. The reason is that identifying conscious individuals in general requires intervening upon the system under study. The implication is that no theory of consciousness can do entirely without assessing causal structure. Any functionalist account that completely lacks reference to causal structure is inadequate, because the same (complex) input-output function can always be distributed across different numbers of consciousnesses.



Keywords: #Consciousness #Mathematical_Models_of_Consciousness #Albantakis
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Collapse and the closure of the physical by Kobi Kremnitzer
By JOSH HOFFMAN • Dec. 30, 2021 @ 21:36 GMT

In this talk I will describe recent joint work with Johannes Kleiner. I will give a precise definition of the closure of the physical and then look at the implication to physics if the (current) physical is not closed: quantum collapse theories. I will discuss the implications of this to scientific theories of consciousness.



Keywords: #Consciousness #Mathematical_Models_of_Consciousness #Kremnitzer #Closure_Of_The_Physical #Quantum_Collapse_Theories
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A no-go theorem for the closure of the physical by Johannes Kleiner
By JOSH HOFFMAN • Dec. 30, 2021 @ 21:32 GMT

We analyze the implications of the closure of the physical for experiments in the scientific study of consciousness when all the details are considered, especially how measurement results relate to physical events. It turns out that the closure of the physical implies that no experiment can distinguish between two theories of consciousness that obey this assumption. Therefore, the closure of the physical is incompatible with scientific practice. This conclusion points to a fundamental flaw in the paradigm underlying most of the experiments conducted to date.



Keywords: #Consciousness #Mathematical_Models_of_Consciousness #Kleiner #Closure_Of_The_Physical
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No Substitute for Functionalism by Natesh Ganesh
By JOSH HOFFMAN • Dec. 30, 2021 @ 21:26 GMT

In this talk, the author will expand on the model of falsification proposed in 'Falsification & Consciousness' by Kleiner & Hoel, allowing us to identify two different types of 'variation' — Type-1 and 2. We will show that only variations of Type-2 lead to the falsification results in the original paper. Motivated by examples from neural networks, finite state automata and Turing machines, we will prove that substitutions based on Type-2 variations do not exist for a very broad class of functionalist theories, rendering them immune to the substitution argument. We will briefly discuss implications for both the substitution argument and functionalist theories of consciousness.



Keywords: #Consciousness #Mathematical_Models_of_Consciousness #Ganesh #Falsification #Neural_Netowrks #Finite_State_Automata #Turing_Machine
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A vector model of how consciousness as integrated information makes a causal difference by Ignacio Cea
By JOSH HOFFMAN • Dec. 30, 2021 @ 21:22 GMT

In this talk, we present a vector model of how consciousness, as depicted by Integrated Information Theory (IIT), can exert genuine causal powers on its physical substrate. IIT identifies consciousness with an irreducible structure of causal powers that a system of mechanisms in its current state specifies. So, IIT asserts that consciousness is “supremely causal” (Tononi 2012, p. 309). Moreover, IIT’s first axiom is that consciousness exists, and one of its key theoretical assumptions is that to exist is to have causal power. Therefore, consciousness must have causal power, on pain of internal incoherence. However, there is a tension between consciousness being causally powerful and the fact that, in IIT’s framework, the behavior of any conscious system seems fully determined by its non-phenomenal properties.To resolve this, we argue that IIT’s interventionist framework should be complemented with a “causal powers” metaphysical view of causation, and propose a mathematically formulated method to translate IIT’s irreducible causal structure (=consciousness) to a vector model where phenomenal powers interact and determine what state of activation the system is more disposed to be in the immediate future. In this way, we could advance our understanding of how consciousness as integrated information makes a causal difference.



Keywords: #Consciousness #Mathematical_Models_of_Consciousness #Cea #Integrated_Information_Theory
1 comment | view comments

Recent Blog Entries

An Integrated Information Decomposition account of...
By JOSH HOFFMAN
In this talk we outline an approach to consciousness science that combines insights from Integrated Information Theory (IIT) and the mathematical formalism of Partial Information Decomposition (PID), which we term Integrated Information Decomposition...
December 30th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

How morphological computation shapes integrated...
By JOSH HOFFMAN
The Integrated Information Theory provides a quantitative approach to consciousness and can be applied to neural networks. An embodied agent controlled by such a network influences and is being influenced by its environment. We present a technique...
December 30th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

Towards a category-theoretic framework for...
By JOSH HOFFMAN
Phenomenal holism is the proposition that an experience is defined not by its intrinsic properties but by its relationship to other experiences a subject could possess. The proposition bears a striking resemblance to the Yoneda lemma in category...
December 30th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

Neither a qualia realist nor an illusionist be by...
By JOSH HOFFMAN
The talk explores two extant philosophical interpretations of a theory of consciousness under the free energy principle—these are qualia realist illusionist (or rather semi-illusionist) interpretations—and argues that none of them is completely...
December 30th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

Consciousness as we know it: a view from biology...
By JOSH HOFFMAN
Although there are many debates about the distribution of consciousness (or subjective experiencing), there is a general agreement among biologists that the only consciousness that we are currently aware of is the consciousness of living beings. I...
December 30th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

A tensor network approach to an AdS/QCFT...
By JENS EISERT
A tensor network approach to an AdS/QCFT correspondence": A talk held at "Tensor Networks: from Simulations to Holography III" (Perimeter Institute, November 16, 2020 - November 20, 2020).



Abstract: AdS/CFT endows gravity in anti-de...
December 15th, 2021 | 1 comment | view blog entry & comments


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January 1st, 1970 | -2 comments | view blog entry & comments

How does an Isolated Quantum System Relax by Jörg...
By JOSH HOFFMAN
Jörg Schmiedmayer (Physics, Vienna University of Technology) How does an Isolated Quantum System Relax



Keywords: #IAF #Information_As_Fuel #Schmiedmayer #Quantum #Quantum_Thermodynamics #Quantum_Systems #Thermodynamics ...
December 8th, 2021 | 16 comments | view blog entry & comments

Quantum Machine Learning by Jens Eisert
By JENS EISERT
This is a recording of a talk held in Erlangen on occasion of the conference on "Machine Learning for Quantum Technology" in May 2019.



Keywords: #IAF #Information_As_Fuel #Eisert #Quantum_Technology #Quantum ...
December 8th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

Near-Term Quantum Computing and Quantum Advantages...
By JENS EISERT
This is a recording of a talk given at the "Summer School on Quantum and Q-Inspired Computing" on September 9, 2021.



Keywords: #IAF #Information_As_Fuel #Quantum #Quantum_Computing #Quantum_Technology #Eisert
December 8th, 2021 | -1 comments | view blog entry & comments

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