In this 2009 article for the Journal of Cosmology, Varadaraja Raman presents four different explanations for consciousness – the spiritual, physical, biological, and the neuroscientific. Despite all the advances we have made, Raman says that no science can offer a fully materialist account of consciousness. Perhaps, Raman says, the connection between matter and mind is purely transcendental. Beyond the nature of consciousness, however, it is more important to find the answer to the question: What is the purpose of consciousness?
Implications for AI
Without human consciousness, the glory and splendor of the universe will remain a mystery. It will be a cold, dark place devoid of joy, meaning, or reflection. If AGI is created (and soon after Artificial Superintelligence or ASI will follow) without the necessary safeguards, all the vitality that humans have given to the universe will be lost.
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