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An abstract painting of a human head side profile, the brain is lit up in colour.

Your Brain on AI From organoids to consciousness

17 August 2024

In the Concert Hall

Talks and Ideas

With Paul Davies, Inês Hipólito and Brett Kagan
Hosted by the University of Sydney’s Sandra Peter

Join us this National Science Week for a journey into a future that is coming sooner than you think. A future where artificial intelligence intersects with human cognition, consciousness, and even life itself. Imagine a world where our brains are enhanced through cognitive advancements, merging organic and digital networks to unlock unprecedented potential. What does this mean for intelligence, human agency and consciousness?

The development of artificial intelligence may well imply that man will relinquish his intellectual supremacy in favour of thinking machines.

Paul Davies

What makes a mass of cells come together to think, do and become self-aware?

As AI capabilities surge forward, we stand on the brink of understanding how intelligence and consciousness arise, how emotions and feelings are generated and how our brains adapt to technological evolution. 

Imagine a future where our brains are augmented through cognitive advancements, seamlessly integrating organic and digital networks with cutting-edge technologies. This fusion holds the key to unprecedented enhancements in human capabilities: faster information processing, enhanced memory and novel modes of cognition. 

Beyond these advancements lie fundamental questions that continue to captivate scientists and philosophers alike: What is consciousness and how does it originate? Can machines or robots be conscious? How does agency manifest in physical systems? How do atoms organise into structures capable of thought and emotion? The intersection of these inquiries with technologies like DishBrain and brain organoids could revolutionise fields from neuroscience and psychology to artificial intelligence and philosophy.

Has the time come to fundamentally re-think the relationship between mind and matter?

Esteemed experts including renowned quantum physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies AM, cognitive scientist Inês Hipólito and neuroscientist Brett Kagan, will talk to the University of Sydney's AI expert Sandra Peter and unveil life-altering developments that will reshape our future sooner than you think. 

Presented by Sydney Opera House, Big Questions Institute and the University of Sydney

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