#71 Beyond Algorithms

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Join us for a conversation with Edward Frenkel, mathematician, Berkeley professor and author of the international bestseller Love and Math, as we explore the nature of reality and the fallacy of the naive ideas of determinism and computationalism. Drawing on the landmark achievements of modern mathematics and quantum physics, Frenkel makes the case that consciousness is not computational, that intuition and imagination cannot be captured by algorithms.

A regular presenter at the SAND conferences, Frenkel has long argued that the debate about the capabilities and dangers of artificial intelligence can be traced to the question “Who am I?” Hence it creates an opportunity for us to go deeper on the path of self-inquiry. To facilitate this process, it is essential to let go of the misconceptions of the science of the 19th century and to update our worldview with the paradigms of the science of the 21st century. A mind-expanding dialogue about the Infinite nature of consciousness, limits of knowledge, and the alchemy of transformation.

Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at University of California, Berkeley, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and winner of the Weyl Prize in Mathematical Physics. He is the author of the international bestseller Love and Math which has been published in 19 languages.

Watch the full video version of this conversation.


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:04:36 – Journey to Mathematics
  • 00:11:06 – Pythagoras
  • 00:17:15 – Going Against Dogma
  • 00:19:15 – First-Person Perspective
  • 00:22:12 – Dogmas in Modern Science
  • 00:40:58 – Agency and Free Will
  • 00:58:20 – On AI
  • 01:07:44 – Brain and Consciousness (with Peter Russell)

Edward’s Talk at the 2014 SAND Conference

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