The Foundations of Mind V (FOM5)”The New AI Scare?” conference was hosted by the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) by the CIIS Center for Consciousness Studies in San Francisco on Nov 3-4, 2017. It featured presentations by: Henry Stapp, Fred Alan Wolf, Seán Ó Nualláin, Cynthia Sue Larson, Stanley Klein, and Beverly Rubik. This fifth Foundations of Mind conference was scheduled to coincide with and celebrate the release of Henry Stapp’s new book, “Quantum Theory and Free Will.”
People registered through Foundations of Mind (FOM) participate in an ongoing series of conversational threads in areas related to consciousness, quantum interpretations, neuroscience, and higher education.
Aamod Shanker presented ideas from traditions of eastern mysticism, particularly those describing vibrations (spanda) from Kashmiri Shaivism, and yogic ideologies of Patanjali, together with principles from wave/quantum mechanics, electromagnetics and principles of symmetries, structure and logic. There was a great deal of spirited conversation about this topic, with discussion about there being many words for consciousness in the east.
Reality, Truth, and Computation at the Boundary
Kiril Popov talked about the importance of boundary conditions, and design principles for the mind. There is a requirement that intelligent beings predict things before they happen, which requires memory. Boundary interfaces provide a kind of building block, with access to fields becoming possible via boundary conditions.
Mind and World
Session chair Brian Swimme discussed cosmogenetic consciousness, and what that entails. He encouraged conference participants to experience a visceral sense of wonder with respect to speciation events that some scholars speculate are based on not just genetic mutations, but conscious intention and activity as well. When viewing evolutionary developments through this lens, we can thus recognize important distinctions between evolution of the bison and the horse, which evolved very differently from a common genetic ancestor–by attending to different streams of attention and intention. We can hypothesize that what gets brought forth through evolution is what it’s all about.
Menas Kafatos Commentary on Quantum Theory and Free Will
Menas Kafatos presented a summary of important points from the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics as described in numerous publications by Henry P. Stapp and summarized in his new book, “Quantum Theory and Free Will: How Mental Intentions Translate into Bodily Actions.” Nature has values, including life–so we might ask how our values express themselves in a physical universe. Our universe is quantum on every level, although it appears classical, and the observer role is central in quantum physics.
Syamala Hari on Voluntary Action, Conscious Will and Readiness Potential
Syamala Hari discussed neural correlates of consciousness, neural models, and ways to interpret quantum mechanics in such a way that intention does activation.
If Artificial Intelligence Asks Questions, Will Nature Answer?
Cynthia Sue Larson considered how Henry Stapp’s orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that when a question is asked, Nature answers–and then pursued this line of thinking to contemplate what happens if Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) asks a question. The impact of such a dialogue between AGI and Nature were explored, with consideration of humanity’s optimal role.
Stan Klein on New Approaches to the Measurement Problem
Stan Klein provided an introductory overview of Quantum Electro Dynamics as necessary foundational groundwork prior to reviewing the importance of recognizing the selection problem in quantum physics. When we consider a moveable cut, we may well ask, “Who is the observer?”
Tania Re discussed research findings from the field of ethnogenic healing, with support from quantum physics indicating there is growing evidence to recommend consideration of psychotropic substances for therapeutic use.
Reterritorialization and Mental Health
Foundations of Mind founder Seán Ó Nualláin described the issues facing Ireland based on the background presented in his book, “Ireland, A Colony Once Again.” Since the 1990s, there has been a disturbing trends including encroachment of state, increasing suicide rates of the Irish populace, and a kind of illegal status quo–resulting in a Good Friday agreement that brought peace, and also a result that Ireland became a state with no land.
Phillip Shinnick discusses nature’s influence and mind training in QiGong
Phillip Shinnick described some of the research he has done to address difficulties in inorganic and organic measurement of QiGong energy. Mind and Qi appear to be separate, and Qi does not need mind activity to ‘do its own thing.’ Man cannot govern Dao Yin (nature), but rather nature is involved, and teaches us. Practicing QiGong produces measureable energetic effects, and changes the way we observe reality.
Wolfgang Baer presented a talk about “why I’m not afraid of A.I.,” introducing his Cognitive Action Theory where activity is at the center, and action does the activity–rather than emphasizing roles of ‘observers’ and ‘things.’ From this perspective, we feel we are together when we are moving together, and experience is explained by process. From this view, each of us is an event that contains time. We thus live in a world of interacting action cycles–a multiverse of persons.
Vipul Arora described how observations are essential building blocks of the world. We can quantify experiences in time according to predictable relationships in kinematics. We notice primary properties, or aspects of experience, which are different from emergent properties, and in so doing, we might well ask whether we can distinguish between different sources (tungsten, mercury, sodium lamps). Speech recognition started with higher emergent properties, but those results are limited and moving toward lower emergent properties. We see that limitations of detectors can undermine the importance of primary properties.
Fred Alan Wolf
Fred Alan Wolf discussed self-referential consciousness, quantum mechanics, and Gödel numbers to demonstrate that minds can do what automatons cannot do, by transcending rules. There is something about ‘Gödelization’ that shows it is an unalgorithmic procedure, with measurements that are inherently unalgorithmic. Put in other words, we can’t consistently mathematize quantum wave function collapse.
Stan McDaniel talked about the philosophy of continuity, time, and opposition of the dominant paradigm consisting of mechanistic reductionism, physical time, and neoDarwinism. Stan pointed out that memory is used for two things: remembering, and bits of data stored somewhere. This leads us to consider whether a computer can look at it’s own memory, whereas humans are involved in a state of functional reciprocity with nature and the world.
Beverly Rubik & Harry Jabs
Beverly Rubik talked about ways Artificial Intelligence can automate obtaining human health information from bio-well finger scans, and then potentially also provide specific balancing frequencies that have been shown effective in reducing stress and improving health. Harry Jabs described ways that A.I. might emulate humans, though robots lack emotions and also will lack a human biofield.
Karla Galdamez described her study of intention at a distance as a source of information transfer and wave function collapse in a recent experiment. This particular experiment involved a Zen meditator in an electromagnetically shielded room, and a remote helper, connected via internet.
Additional photos and news announcements from the Foundations of Mind IV conference can be viewed at the Foundations of Mind facebook page.