Cambridge Muslim College held its 2018 Religion & Science Conference, supported by the John Templeton Foundation, on 15 & 16 September 2018 at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The conference brought together scientific research alongside theological and philosophical perspectives in two broadly related areas: the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence, and the physics and science of consciousness.
The current resurgence of research in artificial intelligence has yielded notable developments in numerous areas, which has generated widespread discourse on the nature, role and function of the human intellect, and led to developments in theories of cognition, perception and sentience. Coupled with this is a tremendous upsurge of interest in the field of consciousness across multiple disciplines, which has led to emerging concepts on the nature of consciousness, subjective experience and self-awareness from a broad range of sciences. A multitude of scientific approaches have been proposed, although a working scientific explanation of the human mind remains a distant goal, and there remains no universally accepted definition or scientific understanding of intelligence or consciousness.
Over the two days of the conference, prominent speakers and internationally renowned experts from the fields of AI and consciousness explored the connections between new theories of intelligence, cognition and consciousness alongside philosophical, theological and religious perspectives.