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Stuart Hameroff on Singularity 1on1: Consciousness is More than Computation!

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Published on Sep 12, 2013

http://www.singularityweblog.com/stua...

Dr. Stuart Hameroff is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology, and Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. Together with British quantum physicist Sir Roger Penrose, Hameroff is the co-author of the controversial Orch OR model of consciousness.

I first met Dr. Hameroff at the recent GF2045 conference where the usually mild-mannered Ray Kurzweil went out of his way to make it abundantly clear that the Orch OR model is totally wrong. Other scientists I met there called it "speculative," "non-testable" and "unscientific". By now both Stuart and Roger must have become accustomed to such attacks, and I have developed a lot of respect for the calm but firm way they are daring to stand their ground. Furthermore, if the Orch OR model were to be correct, then, there will be profound implications on variety of fields and disciplines such as medicine, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, quantum physics and philosophy. And so I decided to bring Dr. Hameroff on Singularity 1 on 1 where we can confront the controversy head-on.

During our 1 hour conversation with Stuart we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: how he got interested in studying consciousness and the definition thereof; why understanding anesthesia is the route to understanding consciousness; the hard problem of consciousness; why the brain is more than a classical computer; how Hameroff reached out to Roger Penrose after reading The Emperor's New Mind; the Orch OR model and why the vast majority of scientists are disdainful of it; the best ways of proving or disproving the Hameroff/Penrose model and the most important implications if it is indeed correct; out-of-body experiences, quantum souls, afterlife, and reincarnation; Hinduism and Buddhism; cryonics and chemical brain preservation; Stuart's upcoming paper [together with Roger Penrose] where they will review and present new evidence in support of the Orch OR theory.

This is by far the highest quality, best produced and most expensive interview that I have done so far. It would have never happened without the generous support of Richard and Tatiana Sundvall. [Richard not only produced but also edited this interview] I am also very obliged to videographer Carl Geers not only for doing a great job behind the camera but also for putting up with my mercilessly caustic sense of humor for three long days. Finally, I want to thank Dr. Stuart Hameroff for welcoming a "Singularity/AI type" like me in his operating room, as well as his genuine willingness to address any and all of my tough questions on the spot, without preparation and prior approval.

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