About the Presenters

exploring the relationship between consciousness, emotions
& artificial intelligence


PROF MARK SOLMS is Director of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, and the recipient of numerous prizes and honours. He has published 350 articles in neuroscientific and psychoanalytic journals and authored eight books.

His collected papers were published recently as The Feeling Brain. He is the editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols) and Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 vols). His current scientific focus is the brain mechanisms of consciousness and the implications of these mechanisms for the understanding and treatment of psychopathology.

Dr. Solms will discuss recent developments in neuropsychoanalysis that illuminate the “hard problem” of consciousness – how and why the subjective experience of consciousness arises in conjunction with the functions of the brain. Solms’ model integrates insights from affective neuroscience, the “conscious id” hypothesis, and Friston’s model of predictive coding, free energy and “surprise,” with implications for clinical work.

• Solms(2013) ‘The Conscious Id’ Neuropsychoananalysis
• Solms(2017) ‘What is the unconscious and where is it located in the brain? Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences; Solms & Friston
• (in press) How and why consciousness arises,
Journal of Consciousness Studies

Prof Toby Walsh is Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and Data61. He was named by The Australian newspaper as one of the “rock stars” of Australia’s digital revolution. Professor Walsh is a strong advocate for limits to ensure AI is used to improve our lives. He has been a leading voice in the discussion about autonomous weapons (aka “killer robots”), speaking at the UN in New York and Geneva
on the topic.

He is a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Science and recipient of the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT. He appears regularly on TV and radio,
and has authored two books on AI for a general audience, the most recent entitled
2062: The World that AI Made.


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