NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES
NIAS CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES PROGRAMME
“MINDS AND MACHINES: DEBATES ON THE NATURE OF INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE”
A One Day Workshop with Experts from Machine Intelligence, Big Data, Philosophy of Science,
Information Theory, Brain Imaging Technologies, Social Cognition & Consciousness Studies
27 December 2017
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, INDIA
Siddharth S & Sangeetha Menon
What is “Intelligence”? What is “Experience”? Is intelligence the power to compute, to be logical, to make rational decisions, to perform, to be successful, and to learn from “experiences”? Experience might sound an anathema in the discussion on “intelligence” since it brings the classical debates on subject vs data, subjectivity vs objectivity, and also functional success vs ethics. Can a machine have experience? Is human intelligence or machine intelligence possible without the richness presented by the frailties and intensity of personal experiences? Can one have self-consciousness without having an experience or being an “experiencer” and the agent of action?
In recent years, renowned scholars, including Nobel laureates and other scientists, technology pioneers, and philosophers, have raised the possibility and threat of artificial intelligence superseding human species. The possibility seems pertinent in times when technology is becoming ‘smarter’ by the day, and playing an increasingly important role in the way we lead our lives. Such speculation provides the context and the need for us to step back and ask few fundamental questions: What is intelligence? How is intelligence understood in various disciplines like computer science, philosophy, psychology and the arts? What does it mean for an entity to be an agent and perform an act? Is it possible for a machine to ‘think’ and ‘act’ the way humans do? What is the place of aesthetic, creative and profound experiences in deciding and influencing “intelligence”, behaviour and value systems?
This one day Workshop organised by NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme aims at fostering discussions across disciplines around experiential traditions. The Resource persons for the Workshop will present, and contextualise perspectives from the fields of computer science, information theory, neuroscience and brain imaging, performance arts, and philosophy to engage with the frontier questions concerning intelligence and the limits of human experience.
The speakers include Dr Tilak Agerwala (Emeritus IBM Scientist, IBM Watson Centre ), Dr LM Patnaik (Former Vice Chancellor, Defence Institute Advanced Technology Deemed University, Pune ), Dr Deepti Navaratna (Director, IGNCA RCB), Dr Prathibha Karanth (Director, COM-DEALL), Dr Nithin Nagaraj (NIAS CSP), Dr. Binoy V V (NIAS CSP), Siddharth S (NIAS CSP), Dr Shankar Rajaraman (NIAS CSP; Sanskrit scholar), and Dr. Sangeetha Menon (Head, NIAS CSP). Siddharth S and Sangeetha Menon will be moderating the sessions and placing the questions on the table during the lectures and the panel discussions.
The Workshop is intended to motivate the participants to think and argue beyond the traditional boundaries of disciplines and develop a perspective that will help understand intelligence (human and machine) in a contextual manner. It is also expected that this Workshop will also present an opportunity to interact with Mentors who are domain experts.