Author: Stefan Reining


According to computationalist theories of the mind, consciousness does not depend on any specific physical substrate, such as carbon-based biological material, but automatically arises out of the right kind of computational structure. Even though this thesis has become an unquestioned assumption in most of current AI literature, there exist only few direct arguments in favor of it. One, and probably the most prominent, argument for computationalism from the philosophy of mind is David Chalmers’ dancing-qualia argument. The aim of this paper is to challenge this argument from a hitherto neglected angle, by arguing that it is undermined by some experimental results in neurobiology regarding the workings of phenomenal memory. However, I will argue that Chalmers’ overall case for the possibility of conscious AI can still be vindicated.

In: Artificial Intelligence
Was ist Selbstbewusstsein? Entgegen der weit verbreiteten Ansicht, dass Selbstbewusstsein ein Fall von intentionalem und repräsentationalem Bewusstsein ist, entwickelt dieses Buch ein alternatives Modell: Selbstbewusstsein ist ein Phänomen sui generis und besteht in einem performativen Akt.
Lässt sich Selbstbewusstsein mit den begrifflichen Mitteln intentionaler und repräsentationaler Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins vollständig erklären? Die provokante These dieser Untersuchung lautet: Intentionales Selbstbewusstsein setzt präreflexives Selbstbewusstsein voraus, das im Rahmen repräsentationaler Theorien nicht erklärt werden kann. Als neuer Leitbegriff der Theorie der Subjektivität wird der Begriff der Performativität vorgeschlagen.
Reflections in Philosophy, Theology, and the Social Sciences
This book discusses major issues of the current AI debate from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, and the social sciences: Can AI have a consciousness? Is superintelligence possible and probable? How does AI change individual and social life? Can there be artificial persons? What influence does AI have on religious worldviews? In Western societies, we are surrounded by artificially intelligent systems. Most of these systems are embedded in online platforms. But embodiments of AI, be it by voice or by actual physical embodiment, give artificially intelligent systems another dimension in terms of their impact on how we perceive these systems, how they shape our communication with them and with fellow humans and how we live and work together. AI in any form gives a new twist to the big questions that humanity has concerned herself with for centuries: What is consciousness? How should we treat each other - what is right and what is wrong? How do our creations change the world we are living in? Which challenges do we have to face in the future?