Artificial sentience straddles the fields of philosophy and engineering.

Throw robots into the mix and it gets really interesting.

Seeker examines what it mean for a robot to be self-aware.

The Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University https://www.creativemachineslab.com/“At the Creative Machines Lab we build robots that do what you’d least expect robots to do: Self replicate, self-reflect, ask questions, and even be creative. We develop machines that can design and make other machines – automatically.”

Why is it that we can see these multiple histories play out on the quantum scale, and why do lose sight of them on our macroscopic scale?

Many physicists believe that the answer lies in a process known as quantum decoherence.

Does conscious observation of a quantum system cause the wavefunction to collapse? The upshot is that more and more physicists think that consciousness – and even measurement – doesn’t directly cause wavefunction collapse.

In fact probably there IS no clear Heisenberg cut. The collapse itself may be an illusion, and the alternate histories that the wavefunction represents may continue forever. The question then becomes: why is it that we can see these multiple histories play out on the quantum scale, and why do lose sight of them on our macroscopic scale? Many physicists believe that the answer lies in a process known as quantum decoherence. 

It’s not surprising that the profound weirdness of the quantum world has inspired some outlandish explanations – nor that these have strayed into the realm of what we might call mysticism.

One particularly pervasive notion is the idea that consciousness can directly influence quantum systems – and so influence reality.

PBS Space Time examines where this idea comes from, and whether quantum theory really supports it. 

Science fiction draws its inspiration from science and, in return, science fiction often inspires science. Think of the Star Trek communicator from the 1960s that evolved into the cellphone of the 90s.

Here’s great video exploring the intersection of hard science and science fiction and how one inspires the other. The cast of The Expanse sits down with brilliant minds from Blue Origin to discuss life beyond our planet.