In this episode, I have the honor of speaking with two experts, a father-daughter team working on Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Psychology. Dr. Jim Crowder is a Systems Fellow at Colorado Engineering, where his projects include Research, Development and Deployment of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Intelligence and Machine Learning systems and applications. He’s also the creator of the famous Maxwell AI bot. Dr. Shelli Friess completed her doctorate at Argosy University in Counselor Education and Supervision and is a faculty member at Walden University’s School of Counseling and Human Services. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, counselor development and wellness, trauma, and vicarious trauma.

We had a great conversation and covered AI, Artificial Psychology, Artificial Consciousness, ethics and morals, and much more… Please enjoy this episode with with Dr. Crowder and Dr. Friess.

Questions we covered:

  1. So, you’re a Father-Daughter team, pairing work in Artificial Intelligence and Psychology. Tell me more about how you two came to work together. It’s pretty unique.
    1. Are you the first team to pair these two disciplines together?
    2. Dr. Crowder, can you tell us about Maxwell? What’s Maxwell up to today?
  2. Artificial Intelligence & Artificial Psychology: tell us a little about the two concepts and how they relate to each other?
    1. How do they relate to consciousness, in your opinion? [AI:Brain, AP:Mind?]
    2. Do you each have different views of what human consciousness is?
    3. Where does ‘self-awareness’ come in?
    4. You mention that we won’t be able to ‘achieve people’ but that we’ll get close. What is that line between the two?
  3. You mention the Artificial Cognitive Neural Framework, with a artificial cognition, artificial prefrontal cortex and memory. You also mention modelling. How does this tie together to create this ‘psychology’?
    1. How do you go about mimicking the brain’s architecture?
    2. Is there a difference between recreating a physical brain and recreating a psychology/consciousness?
    3. And again, what about ‘consciousness’?
  4. Reacting to failure? What about the emotional piece? Dr. Friess, you mention emotion and AI. What are your thoughts on that?
  5. In Consciousness, phenomenal experience, or qualia, is central to the ‘hard question’ of consciousness. Emotions seem to be central to the sensation of experience. How does that play into your work? Ramifications to consciousness, self-awareness, psychology?
  6. Will robots need therapists?
  7. You mention being able to ‘trust’ an AI. What do you mean by that?
  8. What are the ethical considerations of building a psychological, even conscious, intelligence?
  9. What will you two be working on in the future?
  10. What breakthroughs do you see over the horizon in your fields?
  11. What else would you like to share?

In this episode, I have the honor of speaking with Dr. Susan Blackmore, who is a psychologist, lecturer and writer researching consciousness, memes, and anomalous experiences. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, as well as a TED Talk lecturer, blogger for the Guardian, and often appears on radio and television. Her book, The Meme Machine  (1999) has been translated into 16 other languages; more recent books include Conversations on Consciousness (2005), Zen and the Art of Consciousness (2011), Seeing Myself: The new science of out-of-body experiences (2017) and a textbook Consciousness: An Introduction (3rd Ed 2018).

Susan Blackmore Seeing Myself

We had a great conversation and covered out of body experiences, mind-body duality — or more accurately, monism, and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Susan Blackmore.

Questions we discussed:

  1. So, where do you stand on consciousness? What is it?
  2. What are your thoughts on near death experiences and out of body experiences?
    1. You believe in life after death? Dualism?
    2. More like an NDE: how are they different?
    3. Astral projection
    4. What is happening in the brain? How do you explain these experiences?
    5. What implications do these have on our understanding of consciousness?
    6. Her advice: Enjoy the experience!
  3. In an article in Psychology Today, you discuss the notion of being conscious only when you’re aware of your consciousness, like the light in the fridge. Are we only conscious when we’re aware of our consciousness? [sleep]
    1. If not, what are we in those moments?
    2. Does brain activity change? Any other insights into this idea?
    3. Any relation to ‘altered states of consciousness’, i.e. is it a spectrum or some other direct relation?
  4. What else, what haven’t I asked you?
  5. What’s in your future, what else will you be studying or publishing?
  6. New book on Memes to follow the 1999 publication, “The Meme Machine”.

Dr. Cassandra Vieten - The Consciousness Podcast

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Cassandra Vieten, who is the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Vieten is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been with IONS since 2001, previously serving as its Executive Director of Research.

We had a great conversation and covered consciousness, interconnectedness, spirituality and much more.  Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Cassandra Vieten.

Questions:

  1. What are your views/definition of consciousness? Universal consciousness? Mind-body, the binding problem. Survival. Etc.?
    1. Is Consciousness a primary component of the universe, along with matter and energy?
  2. I saw your video from your talk on the Science of Interconnectedness.
    1. Your team has conducted experiments on interconnectedness with some pretty incredible results? (Examples?)
      1. What criticism have you received about the experiments? Have they been independently repeated?
    2. Is ‘interconnectedness’ a shared consciousness? What are the hypotheses about how this works, physically, if that’s even a legitimate question.
    3. You mention that the body itself is interconnected (cells). How? Is that a level of consciousness? Is that an extension of that what connects us to each other?
  3. A focus of yours is spirituality in psychological treatment, correct? How, if at all, does that tie into consciousness? Is there an overlap or connection between consciousness and spirituality?
    1. In your research into spirituality, including meditation and other practices, what have you discovered about consciousness?
  4. What role does consciousness have in psychological healing, in the practice of a psychologist?
  5. I’ve spoken to a few people who study the effects of psychedelics on the brain. Often, those who experience psychedelics describe something like this interconnectedness. Have you looked into that at all? Any insight? Spirituality?
  6. What are the eventual, or hopeful, practical uses that might come from your studies, both in consciousness and psychology?
    1. Are we already experiencing those benefits, without knowing the reason? How are people using these abilities now, while not even realizing it?
  7. What are the hot studies going on at IONS, what else is coming? Pixar, VR
  8. What should we look for from your future work? Ions discovery lab; [link to it]; ions-x (moon shot); help ppl who are working toward positive change (climate, prison) and equip them with tools for transforming worldviews;
  9. What breakthroughs do you see coming, that really excite you?
  10. What else do you want to share? Get involved! https://noetic.org/community/overview


This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Theoretical Quantum Physicist, and Quantum Activist,  Dr. Amit Goswami. Dr. Goswami is a retired full professor from the University of Oregon’s Department of Physics where he served from 1968 to 1997. He is a pioneer of the new paradigm of science called “science within consciousness,” an idea he developed in his seminal book, The SelfAware Universe. Dr. Goswami has written many other popular books based on his research on quantum physics and consciousness, including ,his latest book, The Everything Answer Book, in which his basic premise is that quantum physics is the key to understanding consciousness, life, death, God, psychology, and the meaning of life. In short, quantum physics is indeed the theory of everything.

It was an insightful discussion, so please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Amit Goswami.

Get his latest book on Amazon:

 

  1. First of all, please give us a little background on your studies and theories, especially as it relates to consciousness.
  2. I like to ask this of my guests: how do you define consciousness?
  3. You describe a ‘quantum consciousness’. Are you describing a causal relationship, an underlying physical explanation, of consciousness?
    1. Can consciousness be measured? Are there strange, quantum effects from conducting these measurements?
  4. You mention the need to integrate science and spirituality. How do you integrate those two, and how does quantum physics come in there?
  5. In your view, consciousness exists outside of the brain. Can you expand on that a bit?
    1. You mention scientific evidence of the survival of consciousness after death. Can you provide some examples?
  6. What is the notion you mention of ‘evolution of the mind’?
    1. Is that something we can play an active part in, individually? Can we change/modify/exercise/expand our own consciousness?
  7. You include the ‘meaning of life’ in your book. How is the meaning of life tied to consciousness, or is it?
  8. You mention that ‘Materialism is like an epidemic disease that has to be healed. And quantum science can be part of the healing.’ How can quantum science, quantum physics, be part of that healing? How does that work, exactly?
  9. Given the quantum nature of consciousness, where do you stand on panpsychism? Do you think all living things are conscious? How about a rock?
    1. What about Cosmic Consciousness, the idea that there’s a larger, ubiquitous consciousness that can be tapped into?
  10. Please tell us how creativity plays a role in what you describe as a ‘discontinuous creative insight’. It sounds as if you’re talking about freeing consciousness from the constructs of the mind/ego?
  11. As quantum theory expands to include ‘field theory’ as opposed to particle theory, how does that play into your ideas of quantum physics and consciousness?
  12. I know that this conversation has been focused, obviously, on Consciousness. Before we leave, I’d like to give you an opportunity to discuss any other topic. I know your book covers, well, literally, ‘Everything.’ Is there anything else you’d like to bring up? Quantum activism? Anything?

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jacob Lucas, and our topic was Buddhism and the rebirth of consciousness. Mr. Lucas is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at the University of Exeter and jointly supervised at the University of Bristol, Buddhist Studies, where he is researching arguments in support of the traditional Buddhist account of rebirth to see whether these are accessible to non-Buddhists who are engaging with practices like mindfulness in broadly secular contexts.

We discussed how consciousness moves from one entity to another, the concept of ‘self’ in Buddhist traditions, making ships appear, and even got a little into dreaming and consciousness.

It was a great conversation and included some of these highlights:

  • The mind witnessing the awareness of the world around you
  • A Buddhist, multi-life perspective on consciousness
  • Clearing out old assumptions on the existence of consciousness after the body dies
  • Mind/body, Mind/World, and a cup of tea
  • Pow! There’s a ship!
  • Three explanations within Buddhism of how consciousness moves from one ‘body’ to another
  • Is there a self? What is consciousness without Self?
  • Consciousness after death, and knowledge and memories
  • Dreaming and consciousness

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Leonid Perlovskly. Dr. Perlovsky is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is a Principal Research Physicist and Technical Advisor at The Air Force Research Laboratory at Hanscom AFB.

Our topic was Music and Consciousness, but I’d say it ended up being more about Music, PHYSICS, and Consciousness, covering a wide range of topics from Beauty and the Pursuit fo Knowledge, to the fundamental laws of consciousness to unrequited love. It was a great conversation.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • How music aided the evolution of human consciousness
  • How music helped synthesize the conscious and unconscious mind
  • How music can help one further explore his/her own consciousness
  • Understanding of own knowledge…that is what consciousness is
  • The goal of science is to explain the mechanism of the brain in order to explain consciousness
  • Quantum, schmantum
  • The Unity of Knowledge
  • Beauty, our Instinct for Knowledge, Meaning, ,and our purpose in life and how music aids this
  • Music (and Comedy?) facilitates acquiring of knowledge by helping humans overcome cognitive dissonance. The Fox and the Grapes.
  • “Perlovsky’s” Fundamental Laws of the Mind
  • Can we describe and measure the Mind with mathematical models in a lab?

Get Dr. Perlovsky’s book, Music, Passion and Cognitive Function on Amazon.