I am greatly honoured to be this year’s recipient of the annual Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) essay prize competition. Every year, KHMW with Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad organises an essay prize competition. This year’s was on the question: “What will be the most important scientific discovery of the 21st century?”.
In my essay, I argue that through discoveries in evolutionary biology and neuroscience on the one hand, and artificial intelligence on the other hand, we will come to realise over the course of this century that our thoughts, emotions and experiences – in short, the human mind – is not unique in any way. I predict this will, over time, shift our worldview completely.
We’ll see in 83 years how right I was! Probably not very, but who knows..