Susan Schneider
University of Connecticut


Postbiological Intelligence in the Cosmos

My work is on the nature of the self and mind, which I examine from the vantage point of issues in metaphysics, philosophy of mind / cognitive science, astrobiology, philosophy of science, and applied ethics. I have recently been intrigued by issues in artificial intelligence — matters that require the integration between philosophy and science — such as whether or not non-biological creatures are capable of consciousness, the safe development of superintelligence, and whether humans may one day be able to upload their minds to computers.  My work at the Center of Theological Inquiry involves a multifaceted project on the singularity called “The Singularity Papers”; in two of the chapters I argue that the most intelligent alien civilizations are likely forms of superintelligent artificial intelligence. I focus on ways that humans might understand the advanced thought patterns of a superintelligent being. Other chapters focus on taking a critical approach to viewing the self or mind as some sort of computer program, which I argue does not follow from the brain’s being computational.

Susan Schneider is an associate professor of philosophy and cognitive science at the University of Connecticut. Previously she was on the faculty of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her earlier books includeThe Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, Science Fiction and Philosophy, and The Language of Thought: a New Philosophical Direction.