The Summer Philosophical School on the topic “Metaphysics of Uploading”, hosted by the Center for Consciousness Studies (CCS) took place in August, 2023 in Palermo, Italy for the first time, following its previous editions in Latvia and Malta. At the State Archives of the Sicilian capital, philosophers convened to discuss and debate the feasibility of transferring the human mind into a computer system.
Since 2014, the Center for Consciousness Studies co-founded by Dr. Dmitry Volkov has led the Summer Philosophical School biennially. The international program features lectures and intensive seminars led by field experts. Its aim is to maintain and develop the global analytic philosophy community.
This year's program featured prominent lecturers including Dr Pietro Perconti, the author of “The Future of the Artificial Mind” and a professor specialising in Philosophy and Language Theory at the University of Messina, along with Dr. Eric Oslon, a philosophy professor at the University of Sheffield renowned for his expertise in metaphysics and philosophy of the mind.
Central to the discussion was the exploration of whether artificial computational systems could develop human-like attributes such as consciousness, personality and thought. If they could, how might this shape our understanding of existence? And do we have reasons for our technological optimism?