‘There’s Just No Doubt That It Will Change the World’: David Chalmers on V.R. and A.I.

David Chalmers’ dissertation, “Toward a Theory of Consciousness,” grew into his first book, The Conscious Mind (1996), which helped revive the philosophical conversation on consciousness. Perhaps his best-known contribution to philosophy is “the hard problem of consciousness” — the problem of explaining subjective experience, the inner movie playing in every human mind, which in Chalmers’ words will “persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained.” Chalmers is now writing a book on the problems of a technological future we are fast approaching: virtual reality, digitally uploaded consciousness, artificial intelligence, and more.

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