Seth is OK

Anil Seth’s Faraday Lecture has generated a fair bit of chat. I was initially a bit too unimpressed, not enough originality – probably turned off previously by his use of “hallucination”. In fact he is synthesising many of the same sources I am. Nothing new under the sun again.


Mystery – zzz.

Lost under anaesthesia (main aspect anyway, self-aware aspect – the bits keeping us alive are still there – as as he concludes later – it has much more to do with life than intelligence).

We know it better than anything – a la Descartes

Nagel’s – like to be

Mystery – Chalmers – Hard Problem – zzz

The “real” problem – many different aspects – check

So-called hard problem will “dissolve” – check

Level (how) / Content (of what) / Self (sense of)

Content example “colour” – Visible EM Spectrum

Pink (Lilac chaser) dot illusion.

Prediction machine – check (+ Plato’s Cave)

More expectation / illusions

Bayesian predictions / expectations – check

von Helmholtz process / result (not explicit calculation, certainly not bottom-up from sum of all inputs – nope – high level prediction compared with any available inputs at any level. The game is minimising the unexpected. “Predictive Processing” – generative

Wm James on the case

Pareidolia – hallucinations – hmmmm.
Hallucination as uncontrolled perception
Perception as controlled hallucination.
Kinda – check (OK see intro)

Perceptual echo-chambers (That dress)
The Perception Census

Self <> World

Self is our perception of “us perceiving”
Bodily, Perspectival, Volitional, Narrative and Social – Self

Bodily ( more Sacks / Damasio stuff) – the “Rubber Hand”

Emotion (after James again)

Control (Cybernetics)
ROSS ASHBY – system regulation
FRISTON FREE ENERGY of living systems
Interoceptive Predictions
Good or Bad affective experience

Descartes Error!
Part of Nature not Apart from Nature

AI & Consciousness zzzz
More smart (intellectually) is not more consciousness.
Anthropocentrism / Anthropomorphism.

Did it again!

What a mind is, is not separate from what it does
Less clear line between hardware and software – all wetware
Info independent of embodiment.
Another reason to be wary of computing machine language.

Property of life.
AI will only become Real I when it has Real Life – check.
AI that seems to be consciousness may be a really bad thing for us.
Dennett quote – AI Tools not Colleagues.

Mystery that matters. (Good round-up)
OOOH Friston in the front row.
And Adam Rutherford – Genetic evolution not mentioned (a given, surely, yes says Seth.)

Maturana and Varela. More “systems thinking” autopoesis.


For me:

Frankly, it’s not a mystery, it’s clearly common knowledge.

Person who developed it most from Friston is Solms.


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