The Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science (AMCS) is an international association of scientists and philosophers devoted to mathematical topics in the scientific study of consciousness. It aims to further the development of mathematical approaches in the scientific study of consciousness, henceforth referred to as Mathematical Consciousness Science (MCS).
The association came about due to an expectation, among a growing number of researchers internationally, that mathematical models and approaches will likely play a significant role in humankind’s scientific understanding of consciousness. The association was also deemed needed in order to bring together a growing number of conferences, workshops, online seminar series, and journal special issues. Whilst AMCS sees mathematical approaches as having great potential to achieve new breakthroughs, AMCS also views mathematical approaches as complementary and supportive of non-mathematical approaches to the scientific study of consciousness and aims to help bridge existing gaps.
The association’s goals are:
- To connect researchers whose work relates to MCS, in order to facilitate joint work, exchange of ideas and debates among members in a cooperative and respectful, rather than competitive, atmosphere.
- To encourage and support open-minded, unprejudiced, and non-dogmatic research on MCS while ensuring and advocating scientific quality, honesty and integrity.
- To offer guidance to the emerging field of MCS through coordinating a discussion of a shared sense of its purpose and its long-term goals, as well as through helping to avoid and resolve personal conflicts within its community of researchers.
- To facilitate the communication of the field’s goals, activities, scientific knowledge and progress to its own community, other scientific disciplines and the general public, to increase the field’s visibility generally speaking, to instantiate mutual education of members and of young scientists who are interested in MCS and to help in particular students to connect with researchers working in MCS.
- To raise funds for the above-mentioned causes, as well as for directly financing research on MCS, and to work collaboratively with those around the world who strive to set up research centres and initiatives devoted to MCS.
Download the constitution dated 8th January 2021.
Paper submitted to the UN Call for Papers on Global AI Governance to Serve as Foundational Material for the UN High-Level Advisory Body on AI
October 4th, 2023
On September 28, 2023, the AMCS President, Board Chair and Vice Chair submitted a paper to the UN call for papers on global AI governance titled “Recommendation to the UN High-Level Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence to include Consciousness as a Key Issue for Global AI Governance”. The UN Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology confirmed on October 2nd 2023 that the paper will serve as foundational material for the High-level Advisory Body on AI. Details of the UN initiative are available at https://www.un.org/techenvoy/ai-advisory-body.
The paper highlights seven topics that outline why the consciousness issue is important for global AI governance. The topics are: Safety, Ethics, Regulation, Legislation, Analysis, Public perception and social unrest, and Opportunities and choices. The topics have relevance to the UNESCO Recommendations on the Ethics of AI, and the OECD AI principles. A public release of the paper’s conclusion is below.
ConclusionRecommendation to the UN High-Level Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence to include Consciousness as a Key Issue for Global AI Governance
This document clarifies that it is currently unknown to science whether or not there are, or will be, conscious AI and AGI systems. Accordingly, as a matter of urgency, science needs to establish where in the landscape of different systems lie the boundaries between conscious and unconscious systems. We have provided seven topics outlining why the consciousness issue is important for global AI governance. We have highlighted the extreme asymmetry in expenditure, indicating that a very small redistribution of global research budgets would transform the funding landscape for consciousness science. We have advocated programmes implementing evidence-based research across the field to be supported.
Our main recommendation is for global AI governance to include initiatives to facilitate the acceleration of consciousness research. Global AI governance has a role to play in raising the profile of the consciousness issue in AI and AGI development. Representative organisations such as the Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science and the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness can, and should, advise.
Scientists Call for Acceleration of Consciousness Research to Reinforce Responsible AI Development
Coverage in the media
BBC: AI creators must study consciousness, experts warn
Fox News: Experts warn AI creators should study human consciousness in open letter
Forbes: AI Spurs Scientists Calling To Fast-Track Consciousness Research
E&T: ‘Conscious’ AI no longer a far-fetched possibility, experts warn
Models of Consciousness 2023 (MoC4) announced
We are delighted to announce the forth instalment of the Models of Consciousness conference series. The website is available here.
We look forward to welcoming you to Oxford.
Carbon offsetting of MoC3 2022
The AMCS constitutional commitment to the environmental (under Subsection 21.2 of the constitution) was enacted for the first time on 15 November 2022.
We are delighted to announce that the Models of Consciousness 2022 (MoC3) conference, at Stanford CA, has offset 247.8 metric tons of CO₂ greenhouse gases. That is about 40 return flights from Europe to San Francesco, plus 20 internal US return flights. A total of €5,700.00 was raised through the carbon offsetting registration fee levy and paid to Atmosfair, a German non-profit organization that actively contributes to CO₂ mitigation by promoting, developing and financing renewable energies in over 15 countries worldwide. We are very grateful to all those who paid the levy. A copy of the Certificate can be found here.
Models of Consciousness 2022 success
MoC3 at Stanford University (5-9 Sep 2022) was a great success. Many thanks to all the participants and speakers for a wonderful week of talks, discussions and social interactions. See the conference pages for full details. Here’s looking forward to MoC4.