David Chalmers: The Hard Problem of Consciousness

David Chalmers is a philosopher and cognitive scientist specializing in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and consciousness. He is perhaps best known for formulating the hard problem of consciousness which could be stated as “why does the feeling which accompanies awareness of sensory information exist at all?”

This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. If you would like to get more information about this podcast go to https://lexfridman.com/ai or connect with @lexfridman on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, or YouTube where you can watch the video versions of these conversations. If you enjoy the podcast, please rate it 5 stars on Apple Podcasts, follow on Spotify, or support it on Patreon.

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Here’s the outline of the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.

00:00 – Introduction
02:23 – Nature of reality: Are we living in a simulation?
19:19 – Consciousness in virtual reality
27:46 – Music-color synesthesia
31:40 – What is consciousness?
51:25 – Consciousness and the meaning of life
57:33 – Philosophical zombies
1:01:38 – Creating the illusion of consciousness
1:07:03 – Conversation with a clone
1:11:35 – Free will
1:16:35 – Meta-problem of consciousness
1:18:40 – Is reality an illusion?
1:20:53 – Descartes’ evil demon
1:23:20 – Does AGI need conscioussness?
1:33:47 – Exciting future
1:35:32 – Immortality