Subhash Kak: ‘It is wrong to assume that consciousness is just a computation’

  • The curriculum needs to move away from rote learning to critical thinking to deal with the AI challenge
  • Each generation needs to reinvent itself and that cannot be done by mimicking other societies

Subhash Kak, who was recently awarded the Padma Shri for science & engineering-technology, says India needs to move from rote learning to critical thinking. Each generation needs to reinvent itself, says the Regents professor emeritus, Oklahoma State University, US, whose research covers the fields of neural networks, cryptography and quantum computing.

Kak, who has written 20 books, including six books of poems, says what sets humans apart from intelligent machines is awareness, and it is “wrong to assume that consciousness is just a computation”.

“My research has led me through various pathways, some of which touch on ancient wisdoms and others on modern science,” writes Kak, who is also a Vedic scholar, in his book The Circle Of Memory: An Autobiography (2016).

Leer Más


A Wow Explanation of What Happens When You Experience a Wow Moment

Article Image

Flow. It’s a brain state that fascinates scientists because it appears to be the well from which creativity flows. It was first identified by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi his 1988 book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperiencePsychology Today describes it this way:

Action and awareness merge. Our sense of self and our sense of self consciousness completely disappear. Time dilates—meaning it slows down (like the freeze frame of a car crash) or speeds up (and five hours pass by in five minutes). And throughout, all aspects of performance are incredibly heightened—and that includes creative performance.

 

http://bigthink.com/embeds/video_idea/the-neurochemistry-of-flow-states-with-steven-kotler

As Steven Kotler says, flow has to do with neuroelectricity. When you’re in a daydreamy, or “alpha,” state, your brainwaves are oscillating at a rate of 8 to 12 Hz. (That’s 8 to 12 times per second.)

An alpha brainwave

  • Simplified 10 Hz alpha wave

When you’re on the edge of dreaming and sleep, you’re in “theta,” where oscillations have slowed down to 3 to 8 Hz.

A theta brain wave

  • Simplified 5 Hz theta wave

But oddly, it’s in-between these two dreamy states where flow—the most engaged state there is—happens. Could it be that when the two states are balanced just so, a third state emerges like a difference tone in music?

That’s not the only weird thing, either. When you have a flash of inspiration or clarity—an aha moment—your brain briefly produces high-intensity “gamma” brainwaves oscillating 38 to 42 times per second, the fastest that brainwaves can go.

A gamma brainwave

  • Simplified 40 Hz gamma wave

You can’t stay in a gamma state; it’s just a quick spike. But how surprising is it that the only way to get to the ultra-clarity of high-frequency gamma is from the dreamy edge of low-frequency theta?