Ruth Faden featured in PBS series “SEARCHING: Our Quest For Meaning in the Age of Science”

February 3, 2023

The Berman Institute’s Ruth Faden was featured this month in “SEARCHING: Our Quest For Meaning In The Age Of Science,” a 3-part documentary series by physicist and best-selling author Alan Lightman, aired nationwide on PBS, that investigates how key findings of modern science help us find our bearings in the cosmos. What do these new discoveries tell us about ourselves, and how do we find meaning in them?

Dr. Faden appears in Part 2, “The Big & The Small,” joining the Dalai Lama and other experts to discuss human consciousness and the status of future Artificial Intelligences.

After meeting with an advanced android named Bina48, with the head and shoulders of a woman, Lightman asks Faden about whether such a being could achieve consciousness. Could we unplug it/her without asking permission?

“Have we created an entity that is sufficiently worthy of moral regard that we are wrongly treating it like property?” replied Faden. “I don’t believe how an entity originates matters – it doesn’t matter if it’s an android or born of a human being – what matters has to do with what they can experience and how we can harm them or benefit them through our own actions.”

Click here to jump to Faden’s interview or watch the full episode here.