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Mission

The mission of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Discovery Institute is to explore the benefits as well as the challenges raised by artificial intelligence (AI) in light of the enduring truth of human exceptionalism. People know at a fundamental level that they are not machines. But faulty thinking can cause people to assent to views that in their heart of hearts they know to be untrue. The Bradley Center seeks to help individuals—and our society at large—to realize that we are not machines while at the same time helping to put machines (especially computers and AI) in proper perspective. Learn More

Walter Bradley

About Walter Bradley

Walter Bradley is my hero because the impact of his life will be celebrated in perpetuity. I want a heritage like that. But ironically such a goal cannot be achieved by making it a goal. ⋮ Read More …

Articles & Podcasts

The Day Philosophers Started To Take Consciousness Seriously

Of course, once they did, they found themselves deep in huge conundrums
We sometimes forget how far we are from solving the mystery of consciousness. An anecdote from 1994 might help us understand. Picture an utterly boring, pointless conference in Tucson, Arizona, one of whose attendees was an obscure philosopher from Australia, scheduled to give the third talk. And shook everything up: The brain, Chalmers began by pointing out, poses all sorts of problems to keep scientists busy. How do we learn, store memories, or perceive things? How do you know to jerk your hand away from scalding water, or hear your name spoken across the room at a noisy party? But these were all “easy problems”, in the scheme of things: given enough time and money, experts would figure them out.…

Do Birds Really Understand What They Are Saying?

Remarkable claims are made for some birds
Perhaps because parrots can carefully mimic human voices (and many other sounds), many claims are made for their intelligence For example, that they understand abstractions like currency: After training eight African grey parrots and six blue-headed macaws to barter metal rings for walnuts, the researchers paired the birds up with same-species partners. They then put the parrots in clear chambers joined by a transfer hole, and gave one bird—the donor—ten rings, while the other was left with none. Even without the promise of a reward for themselves, seven out of eight of the African grey parrot donors passed some of their available tokens through the transfer hole to their broke partners, usually shuttling them beak to beak. On average, about…

Claim: “Spirituality” Circuit in the Brain Has Been Identified

Really? Is that even possible?
It’s a story like so many others: Researchers have “found” the brain circuits for spirituality: A new study led by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital takes a new approach to mapping spirituality and religiosity and finds that spiritual acceptance can be localized to a specific brain circuit. This brain circuit is centered in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), a brainstem region that has been implicated in numerous functions, including fear conditioning, pain modulation, altruistic behaviors and unconditional love … “Our results suggest that spirituality and religiosity are rooted in fundamental, neurobiological dynamics and deeply woven into our neuro-fabric,” said corresponding author Michael Ferguson, PhD, a principal investigator in the Brigham’s Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics. “We were astonished to find…

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Robert J. Marks: There’s One Thing Only Humans Can Do

This week, we listen to Robert J. Marks speaking at the launch of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence in Dallas, Texas. Robert J. Marks is the Director of the Bradley Center and Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. In a panel discussion at the 2019 launch of the Bradley Center, Dr. Marks…

George Gilder: Google Does Not Believe in Life After Google

Will technology permanently solve the problem of human productivity? Does the future look like a life of leisure while robots do all the work we currently do? In a panel discussion at the 2019 Dallas launch of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, George Gilder offered some thoughts on the evening’s topic, “Will ‘Smart’ Machines Take Over…

Jay Richards: Creative Freedom, Not Robots, Is The Future Of Work

In an information economy with the rise of artificial intelligence and robots, are humans being pushed to the margins of the workforce? Are we to look forward to a hopeful future, or a dark one? Listen in to hear Jay Richards provide his own insight on the development of technology and its role in the workplace, and how he envisions…

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