This interdisciplinary scientific short book explores the mind at a conceptual level. It touches on its evolutionary development, its algorithmic nature and its scientific history by bridging ideas across Neuroscience, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Evolutionary History, Cognitive Science, Political Philosophy, and Artificial Intelligence.
Never before had there been nearly as many scientists, resources or productive research focused on these topics, and humanity has achieved some understanding and some clarification. With the speed of progress it is timely to communicate an overreaching perspective, this book puts an emphasis on conveying the essential questions and what we know about their answers in a simple, clear and exciting way.
Humans, along with the first RNA molecules, the first life forms, the first brains, the first conscious animals, the first societies and the first artificial agents constitute an amazing and crucial development in a path of increasingly complex computational intelligence. And yet, we occupy a minuscule time period in the history of Earth, a history that has been written by Genes, by Cultures and by Consciousnesses. If we abandon our anthropomorphic bias it becomes obvious that Humans are not so special after all. We are an important but short and transitory step among many others in a bigger story. The story of our computational minds, which is ours but not only ours.
What is the relationship between computation, cognition and everything else?
What is life and how did it originate?
What is the role of culture in human minds?
What do we know about the algorithmic nature of the mind, can we engineer it?
What is the computational explanation of consciousness?
What are some possible future steps in the evolution of minds?
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Andres Campero is a researcher and PhD student at the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department and at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
His academic path is particularly interdisciplinary and his research has been published and presented in several conferences across Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Machine Learning, Economics and Artificial Intelligence. He represented Mexico in the International Mathematical Olympiad and is co-founder of several organizations.