Dr. Thomas Ray is  Harvard-educated doctor of Biology, and also the original researcher in the Tierra Artificial Life project. Tierra ended up receiving major media coverage all over the world as one of the most promising forays in generating “evolution” in a digital system. Today, Dr. Ray’s research is honed in on the study of the human mind – and our conversation centered around his thoughts about human enhancement and machine consciousness.

Machines May Never Live

For Dr. Ray, the affective portion of the brain and the cognitive portion the brain (he uses the two separately in order to draw a distinction) work in unison to create the amalgam that we call consciousness. He believes that animals with only a primitive brain (lacking the capacity for language, logic, and reason) are capable of a a certain, limited extent of consciousness, while humans are capable of a higher and richer variety.

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