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Michio Kaku: Feedback loops are creating consciousness

Michio Kaku: Feedback loops are creating consciousness


In the entire universe, there are two great
unsolved problems. The two greatest problems in all of science,
first of all, is about the very big. It’s about the origin of the universe. Why did it bang? Why do we have an expanding universe? And I personally work on something called
the multiverse, which we think is the dominant source of theories that gives us the universe
before creation itself– the multiverse. But there is also the mystery of inner space,
not outer space. And that’s the human mind. Where does consciousness come from? And I think that in my book, The Future of
the Mind, I try to make a stab at what is consciousness? First of all, let me explain my theory. I have my own theory of consciousness. I think consciousness is the sum total of
all feedback loops necessary to create a model of yourself in space, in society, and in time. Now, I’m a physicist. We like to measure things and quantify things. I think there is a unit of consciousness. If consciousness is a sum total of all feedback
loops necessary to create a picture of yourself in space, in society, and in time, then the
unit of consciousness is a thermostat. A thermostat has one unit of consciousness,
because it has one feedback loop– measures temperature. Now, a plant has maybe five units of consciousness,
because plants have to regulate temperature. They have to regulate humidity, the direction
of gravity, when to sprout. So there are maybe five or so feedback loops
in a plant. Then we go to alligators. The alligators are masters of the back part
of the brain. And then you have maybe several hundred feedback
loops that govern space. That’s what alligators are very good at. Their brain, if you look at the parts of the
back of the brain, we, too, have the reptilian brain that governs our understanding of space,
where we are in space. And then, going forward in time, evolution
gave us the monkey brain, the center of the brain, the limbic system. And the limbic system, in turn, governs society. It governs where we are with respect to our
elders, our children, other human beings. Pack mentality, wolves, all of them have a
developed central part of the brain, the monkey brain. And then the front part of the brain is what
distinguishes us from the animals. It is the temporal brain that constantly simulates
the future. Animals don’t do that. In fact, animals don’t even have much of a
memory. When you look at a brain scan of what is the
brain doing when it’s thinking, thinking hard? What is the brain doing? You find out that the prefrontal cortex is
active, and it is accessing memories of the past. You see, animals don’t do that. Animals have not much of a memory. They don’t see the future, because there’s
no necessity to see the future. There’s no necessity to have much of a memory. In fact, the purpose of memory could be to
simulate the future. Animals don’t need it. Why didn’t the dinosaurs become intelligent? Well, they didn’t need to become intelligent,
because we humans sometimes overexaggerate the importance of intelligence. Intelligence is not necessary to live in the
forest, but we are maladapted to live in the forest. We don’t run very fast. We can’t fly. Our skin is very fragile. We’re not very strong. We have only one thing going for us — our
brain. And what separates us from the animals? We see the future. We plot. We scheme. So that’s my theory of intelligence. And then you can then categorize animals. You can categorize machines on the basis of
this category. Level 1 would be alligators. Level 2 would be monkeys — I mean, not monkeys,
but social animals, like wolves. Level 3 would be just us. OK, we have the third level of consciousness. And then what about robots? What do robots have? Robots will be level 1. They can barely see what’s around them and
start to make some changes. They don’t have emotions. They don’t see social hierarchy. They can’t interact socially with humans. And of course, they certainly don’t see the
future in all its forms. Now, they can simulate parts of the future. They could model airflow on an airplane wing,
for example. So robots can see the future in one direction. We see the future in all directions. So robots would be level one in conscious. OK? Plants would be level zero, that is, just
a few feedback loops. We’re the highest. We see the future. And then I think this will replace the IQ
exam. I think the IQ exam measures one aspect of
intelligence, and that is clerical skills. Yes, I think IQ exams measure something. They measure how well you do on IQ exams. And what is it that IQ exams test you for? Clerical skills. So I personally think that clerics and maybe
lawyers, who score very high on an IQ exam– but that doesn’t mean they are, quote, “intelligent.” Intelligence, to me, is seeing the future
in all its forms, whether you’re a bank robber, whether you are a physicist, whether you’re
a gymnast, whatever. That, I think, is what intelligence is.

100 comments on “Michio Kaku: Feedback loops are creating consciousness

  1. It would be wiser if stuck to theoretical physics (in which he is qualified) and make predictions there rather than speculate about what AI or AGI can do (where I presume he has limited knowledge).

  2. Watching a theoretical physicist like Michio Kaku talk about consciousness is almost as cringe as David Icke talking about lizard people. Don't quit your day job, Kaku.

  3. Now go and tell this to an anesthesiologist and be prepared to be laughed at. Consciousness is a certain level of complexity in neural networks. It can be moderated by blocking neurotransmitters. You know, like we do daily in hospitals. Please stick to physics when you aren't a neuropsychologist or -biologist.

  4. Not really a solution. You could still have feedback loops without consciousness. So, we are back to the hard problem of consciousness.

  5. I'm not convinced of the human supremacy yet. However, each skill requires feedback loops & our experiences will vary from species to species based on how many loops are brains manage.

    the clarification of the IQ Tests measuring just clerical/paperwork skills is a great concise description of the papers that have been out about IQ score inflation & such.

  6. Why is this physicist talking outside his expertise? He’s breathtakingly mistaken about the brain’s functions and the way memory works.

  7. What about endurance?
    As animals of the forest, our endurance ensured our survival.
    Mankind outreached all animals in endurance… which made us successful hunters. The animals could easily run away from us once or twice… but not many times… they collapsed after a while, exhausted or with a heart stroke. Man just had to collect them, if they went after them long enough.

  8. So a god like creatue that sees all, is just a creature with feedback loops that has learned all there is to learn. This theory is to much focussed on atheïsme. And less on the weird pheneomenon creation and nature really are. Or a vision that might be of great importance. The scientist who lays out a theory that irons everything clean. I play my Immanuel Kant card critique of pure reason.

  9. Are there mind physics equations? For instance if we knew enough variables of a person we could determine what they would do in situations?

  10. 3:07 Sure… Evidence shows animals can play back memories https://www.futurity.org/episodic-memory-animals-alzheimers-1754992/

  11. You know, at one time I loved science, space exploration, etc. But what I see now are attempts to manipulate the mass mind and create an unreality, controlled by our wonderful rich elite. Kaku here strikes me as a paid shill. The only motivations I see in him and many other "scientists" are economic, political and good ole monkey ego. I have lost respect, not for science, but for scientists…

  12. That’s your hypothesis, Dr Kaku. You’re a scientist speaking about science, and you should know better than to call that a theory.

  13. the computer may have sensors, loops, whatever, hence it cannot ever have pleasant or unpleasant feelings such as pain, because it has got no consciousness.

  14. his loopbacks remind me of something I am puzzled about : in the many worlds theory you are part of a "world" which could be seen (euh perhaps in some interpretations ??) as one slice extended in time (perhaps) for the Planck time unit.. But considering the speed of light is finite, also the speed of nerve transmissions this means that our consciousness as united field somehow lives in different slices at once.

  15. "Love" is a feedback loop, too. You interact with another beeing. That beeing and its representation interact with you. Love is measured in heat, too. 🙂

  16. A "level 4 Intelligence" would be an AI simulating the hole world including all dead and living things.
    But how would you deal with the interations of the AI in such a simulation?

  17. There were some studies that showed some animals do think ahead. I think the experiment I'm thinking of dealt with crows.

  18. In what way "knowing the future" gives oneself/society as a whole gets benefited,for example, if a robber knowing the future still remains a robber what is the use of THAT Intelligence/Consciousness/Awareness. Also level of measurement projects somewhat Inferior & superior states, rather the defining factor could be UNIT OF CONSCIOUSNESS running entirely in space including SOIL as it has LIFE resulting in making a plant to sprout…

  19. Michio kaku the world is waking up knowing the earth is flat ,Stationery and the centre of universe. The moon, the sun and the stars are located in side the firmament and not out side. Space is scientifically impossible. NASA stupefied everyone with CGI. NASA they are liars and you too.
    NIKOLA TESLA said, Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzies and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king, it's exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists. The earth is a globe is the greatest crime in the history of humanity.

  20. That hardest part about the hard problem of consciousness is getting people to admit and accept that they have zero evidence in support of dualism… And that we have a mountain of evidence which indicates consciousness is a complex emergent property of the net neurological activity in the central nervous system… To say we dont know everything about consciousness and that therefore we're justified in postulating 1 outlandish hypothesis after another about its nature and origin… Is very absurd…

    We're at the point where we know with a great degree of confidence that it (consciousness) is emerging from the brain. We just don't know all the details yet. It's like being a 3rd world human seeing a helicopter take off for the first time. They know the spinning blades lift the helicopter without knowing how or why the helicopter exists, or works. We know the constant neurological activity in the central nervous system generates the entirety of our conscious and unconscious experiences, but we can't yet write out the equations or code which represent the emotion of love. YET.

    We have actually totally mapped out the genetic schematics of an organism already… I mean we know what each and every piece of its DNA does in conjunction with the rest of its DNA. The worm in conscious and we know all of it's potential conscious experiences, because we know what every part of its nervous system does down to a T… Today its worms, tomorrow its people.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/recipe-for-a-worm/

  21. Haven't you got a memory? You're an animal. And you don't know anything about the memory of other animals. Dogs have a Better memory than us. So do elephants. Concentrate on physics and let those who know about it talk about this. You're soo wrong, Mr. Animal.

  22. Feedback is consciousness? Thermostats are conscious? More reductionist bollocks! I remember Roger Penrose made fun of this idea by drawing a picture of a camera pointed at a mirror and jokingly asking us if we are to infer that this system of mirror and camera where actually conscious.

  23. Being able to access memory is not necessarily our greatest advantage. Our ability to sweat let's us hunt in sun light. Opposable thumbs let us make tools. 360 degree shoulder rotation allows us to project objects at great speeds. We do indeed have physical prowess that other animals do not have.

  24. The channel Actualized.org have explanations on what consciousness is, but it's so ahead of his time that most of society isn't open minded enough to believe him.

  25. Can someone explain to me why am locked up in this body. I think consciousness is the sum total of all human senses cos everything goes on in the brain

  26. He's on the right track with his surmises. The more the consciousness is connected to, the greater the awareness. What feedback loops can consciousness become entrained with? What are the sources that mind and emotions can interact with? Of course, there is a multitude. "What is consciousness connected to?" is the question. We would not exist as living entities without being connected to sources outside and inside of ourselves. Feedback=life. Any feedback source has the potential to increase intelligence. Sources known and unknown exist.

  27. I interpret his explanation this way: Consciousness is the brain's way of analysing past events to predict future events. This enables us to make plans for the future.

    It is interesting, I've never heard that explanation before. I am sure that some of the actions we take are done at a subconscious level, instinctively. Consciousness must be a special "planning mode"; if you agree with Kaku's version.

  28. I wonder if the Sun is conscious. It produces its own energy (and for us), and I wonder if there are connections within it, like neural network. We're these little units of mostly carbon and hydrogen and we seem to think we can understand everything. How could we be more intelligent than the Sun?

  29. Dr. Michio Kaku I have great respect for you. May I suggest you experience Bufo medicine from the Shipibo tribe in Peru. It is amazing and you would gain a powerful new perspective on consciousness. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, I think you are wonderful. I deeply dig you!

  30. “Animals don’t have much of a memory.” I wonder if he has ever seen the video of Michael the gorilla telling the story through sign language of how his mother was killed by poachers when he was a baby, then he was taken captive? 🙄

  31. Lol douglas has a philosophical idea, Michael Graziani has the evolution and mechanistic answer. But then again there is always My Big TOE

  32. This sounds like a shot in the dark.

    It still doesn’t explain why the nature of consciousness is so fundamentally different to such mind blowing proportions then this feedback loops what it’s supposed to be made of.

  33. Evolution likes to cheat so a probable explanation for how humans see the future is not that they simulate the future like a computer but that they cheat and see the future though some process we don't yet understand.

  34. For the love of god humans ARE animals! This guy is so dense it hurts to listen to him. I'll give him 2 thermostats and no more.

  35. Seriously, this whole "theory" is based on a false stupid basis: Animals can't conceive the future.
    First, here is proof that many studies showed the very opposite:
    https://faunalytics.org/animals-think-future/
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0023969012000318
    And second, this guy is just another media hype, they all be like "Consciousness is a huge hype now, must follow the trend and share my breakthroughs about it!!!!"
    Too bad this shit is being advocated here.

  36. is there anyone who can explain me.. how is this idea that universe is expanding ? i mean someting to expand need a space in wich will expand.. that space is not same part of universe? it expand in to what ??

  37. someone scored low on an iq test, or more than likely, has never taken one. "clerical skills" lol okay buddy, thanks for summarily dismissing yourself for me in the future.

  38. I think animals are way smarter than most people give them credit for. There are studies that suggest dogs are self aware, they just recognize their own smell rather than their own appearance. Whales teach their young how to access good hunting grounds. Bees can remember and communicate the location of flowers. We're starting to realize that there's a lot more going on in animals' brains than we used to think, and I think it's going to be an important part of understanding consciousness in humans.

  39. There is a time delay for all those feedback loops. For a fly, that time delay is very short. For a human, we have a longer time delay. Consciousness is caught up in that time delay. Remove our sense or perception of time, and consciousness derails. Intelligence in seeing the future can also induce high anxiety – a hinderence to moving forward

  40. YOUVE got the monkey brain Kaku….im amazed we're not all in impending doom like every other thing you shill to the media about
    how the hell do you even think that animals think about the future?

  41. This is what distinguishes us from animals : prefrontal cortex, reasoning backwards and forwards, problem solving, living with groups, collaborative thinking, shared labor. And for those who say we evolved from being animals to being humans, the idea is absurd! Our thinking and skills had evolved but not going from 48 chromosomes to 46 chromosomes!!!

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