Watch: An Agnostic View of Artificial Consciousness - Tom McClelland, Cambridge University (2022 Jan)

Artificial Intelligence is all around us, but is any of it conscious? If not, might there be conscious AI in the future? Because these questions have major ethical ramifications it's imperative that we find clear answers. However, I argue that no such answers are available. In the absence of an adequate theory of consciousness, we have no way of working out whether an AI is conscious or even whether an AI could be conscious. I explore why we're in this bind and what it means for the ethics of AI.

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Tom is a lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a Director of Studies at Selwyn College Cambridge. His research covers a range of topics in philosophy of mind, psychology, metaphysics, aesthetics and the philosophy of business.

Due to ongoing public health concerns and resulting restrictions, Tom appeared over video from Cambridge, with a live audience at the OSO.