Philosopher Daniel Dennett on AI, robots and religion

It would be hard to confuse Daniel Dennett for anyone other than a philosopher. With his voluminous white beard, imposing frame, and jolly demeanour, he cuts a distinctive figure in the sleek restaurant atop London’s National Portrait Gallery. It is a hazy, sunny day as we gaze out across the rooftops. The Union Flag hangs limply over Parliament.

As a thought experiment (so beloved of philosophers), I try to picture Dennett in a tunic and sandals orating in the Athenian agora a couple of millennia ago. Yup, that one works. As it is, our modern-day philosopher is dressed in a button-down blue shirt and a grey herringbone jacket and is carrying a splendid walking stick.

With the enthusiasm of a born storyteller, Dennett recounts how he found the stick while tramping through the woods on Outer Long Island, Maine, in 2006.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Philosopher Daniel Dennett on AI, robots and religion

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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