The Challenge to AI: Consciousness and Ecological General Intelligence Front Cover

The Challenge to AI: Consciousness and Ecological General Intelligence


This book invites readers to explore the intricate world where AI, consciousness, and human cognition intersect. This groundbreaking book considers the profound differences between man and machine, challenging existing notions in AI and cognitive science. It argues that the key to understanding intelligence lies not in software, but in the hardware of our brain – a complex biochemical system far removed from current AI architectures. Through a deep examination of time, perception, language, and the nature of thought, the book presents a compelling case for the indispensability of biology and consciousness in cognition. To achieve this, to engineer this, will indeed be a challenge for AI.


  • Presents an alternative to the conventional computer metaphor, offering a new framework for understanding the mind
  • Introduces a fresh perspective on the role of time in AI and philosophy, highlighting its critical importance
  • Explores the biochemical basis of cognition, challenging the traditional focus on symbol manipulation and neural networks

1: Introduction. 2: Gibson and the Resonating Brain. 3: Bergson and the Image of the External World. 4: Retrieving Experience. 5: Conscious Cognition. 6: Reaching for Cups-Voluntary Action. 7: Generative AI and Human Speech. 8: The Problem of Affect. 9: Space, Time, and the Requirements for a Conscious Device. Index.

Stephen Robbins holds a PhD in educational psychology and is a former university professor specializing in perception and cognition. He spent many years in industry as a software application architect and project manager.

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