Brain Inspired
BI 107 Steve Fleming: Know Thyself

Steve and I discuss many topics from his new book Know Thyself: The Science of Self-Awareness. The book covers the full range of what we know about metacognition and self-awareness, including how brains might underlie metacognitive behavior, computational models to explain mechanisms of metacognition, how and why self-awareness evolved, which animals beyond humans harbor metacognition and how to test it, its role and potential origins in theory of mind and social interaction, how our metacognitive skills develop over our lifetimes, what our metacognitive skill tells us about our other psychological traits, and so on. We also discuss what it might look like when we are able to build metacognitive AI, and whether that’s even a good idea.

0:00 – Intro
3:25 – Steve’s Career
10:43 – Sub-personal vs. personal metacognition
17:55 – Meditation and metacognition
20:51 – Replay tools for mind-wandering
30:56 – Evolutionary cultural origins of self-awareness
45:02 – Animal metacognition
54:25 – Aging and self-awareness
58:32 – Is more always better?
1:00:41 – Political dogmatism and overconfidence
1:08:56 – Reliance on AI
1:15:15 – Building self-aware AI
1:23:20 – Future evolution of metacognition