Quantifying consciousness with information theory
New Horizons in Science 2009
Sunday, 18 October
Speaker: Virgil Griffith
Virgil Griffith is a computer-security expert whose accomplishments include cracking the security on debit cards widely used on college campuses; developing the Wikiscanner, a tool for identifying organizations that make edits on Wikipedia; and cross-referencing Texas vital records to predict individuals’ mothers’ maiden names. (Don’t ask him about the debit-card work; he was sued and he settled, but he’s still legally restrained from talking about it.) More recently, Griffith has become interested in the nature of consciousness, where he hopes his work will be less likely to get him dragged into a courtroom. He is studying neural complexity at Caltech, with an eye toward explaining consciousness as something that arises at the intersection of neuroscience and complexity. He will discuss his preliminary results.