INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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David Christopher LaneDavid Christopher Lane, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, Mt. San Antonio College Lecturer in Religious Studies, California State University, Long Beach Author of Exposing Cults: When the Skeptical Mind Confronts the Mystical (New York and London: Garland Publishers, 1994) and The Radhasoami Tradition: A Critical History of Guru Succession (New York and London: Garland Publishers, 1992).

The Virtual
Philosophers

Exploring the Interface of Artificial
Intelligence and Digital Reality

Russell Savage

AN INTRODUCTION

With virtual reality we are poised to take that a step further, shaping the very information being fed to our senses in order to control the world, or worlds, that we perceive.

When I think of our species' technological progress there is a certain scene that comes to mind, from Douglas Adams' book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where a sperm whale is suddenly brought into existence high above a planet (this is, of course, not a natural state for a sperm whale to find itself in). As it begins to plummet downwards, the whale sets out on a journey of self- discovery.

“Who am I?”, it asks. “Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I?”

Forget, for a moment, your preconceptions about philosophy being merely the collected musings of ancient thinkers, stored in dusty volumes on forgotten library shelves. Philosophy belongs just as much in the modern day. It is a way of promoting thought and spurring us to question what we know, or at least think we know. It's about questioning the nature of our existence, the way that we think and process information, and about the universe and our place within it.

We share many similarities with the whale in Adams' story. As it continues hurtling downward at ever-increasing speeds, with the very solid ground waiting to meet it, the whale seeks to build on its collected knowledge by better defining itself and the world around it. The whale asks, “what about this whistling roaring sound going past what I'm suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind!” Its excited by each new discovery and by the anticipation of what might still be yet to come.

Humanity has long been concerned with shaping the world around us in order to better meet our needs. We're now rushing headlong into a future where, with augmented reality, we can blend artificial creations into the world around us in order to enhance our experiences and improve job functionality. With virtual reality we are poised to take that a step further, shaping the very information being fed to our senses in order to control the world, or worlds, that we perceive. Then we come to artificial intelligence, computer algorithms that can go beyond their base mathematical formulas to learn, grow, and adapt. We are blurring the lines between science fiction and reality at a rate that the public consciousness can barely follow.

Contained in this book are a selection of articles that seek to explore the various aspects of these technologies: from their origins, to the benefits they promise, to the issues they raise and the possible dangers therein. The promise these technologies hold is exciting and yet, it would serve us well to pause our headlong rush into the future for a moment; tempering our anticipation with a modicum of caution and a good bit of careful thought… lest, of course, we end up like the whale.

SUBJECT GUIDE

EXPLORING THE PHILOSOPHY

Ludwig Wittgenstein's Premonition of Virtual Reality

Artificial Intelligence Through the Eyes of the Dalai Lama

A Gnostic Diagnosis

Plato (428-348 BC) and Virtual Reality

VR and Music

Sam Harris/Nassim Taleb on Virtual Reality

The Hard Problem of AI

Nick Bostrom, How Long Before Superintelligence? by

A LOOK AT THE MINDS BEHIND THE TECHNOLOGY

Alan M. Turing (1912-1954): Machinery and A.I. Tests

Claude Shannon

Elon Musk

Elon Musk and His Crusade Against Artificial Intelligence

A.I. and Fei-Fei Li

Ray Kurzweil

Gunpei Yokoi Ming C. Lin

Nonny De La Peña

Void

THE HARDWARE AT THE HEART OF THESE DISCUSSIONS

Echo Dot

Alexa: Strongwoman of Conversational Intelligence

IBM Watson

Google's AlphaGo

Quantum AI

Samsung Gear Virtual Reality Headset

The Oculus Rift and the Future it Holds in its Hands

Oculus Go

HTC Vive

Microsoft's Hololens 2

AI and VR's Potential for the Field of Medicine

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND VIRTUAL REALITY IN MEDIA

The Matrix and Simulation Theory

Artificial Intelligence, Deception, and 2001: A Space Odyssey

Virtual Reality Gamer

The Movie Brainstorm and VR



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