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By: Prof. Rocky Scopelliti

The Conscious Code

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In an age where Artificial Intelligence (AI) evolves at a breakneck pace, the boundaries of machine capabilities are constantly being redefined. Propelled by advancements in deep learning and related technologies, AI is inching ever closer to mimicking human intellect. But can it achieve consciousness? And if so, at what cost to humanity?

This book delves deep into the multi-faceted debate surrounding artificially conscious AI. It untangles ethical quandaries, philosophical dilemmas, technological challenges, political considerations, and the regulatory landscape. By drawing connections between AI research, neuroscience, and cognitive science, the narrative provides a comprehensive understanding of what consciousness might mean in the context of AI.

As over a thousand AI luminaries globally sound the alarm, urging a pause on certain AI developments, the book underscores the urgency of its message. Recent incidents have spotlighted AI systems with capabilities so advanced that even their creators grapple to fully grasp or control them. It’s imperative, now more than ever, to critically assess the implications of AI consciousness, weighing its potential risks against its benefits. This book offers both a timely warning and a call to informed action.

Prof. Rocky Scopelliti is a world-renowned futurologist whose purpose is to ‘create confidence in our future’. His pioneering behavioural economics research on the confluence of demographic change and emerging technology has influenced the way we think about our social, cultural, economic, and technological future.


His new book, Disruptive Decarbonisation: Australia’s Technological Race to Net Zero Carbon Emissions, is the first major study of its type into how Australia’s industries, organisations, and leaders can increase their capacity to adapt to a world in accelerated change. His other books include Australia 2030! Where the Bloody Hell Are We?, based on a major study of Australian professional’s attitudes towards the decade; and Youthquake 4.0: A Whole Generation and the New Industrial Revolution, which has been published in Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Korean languages.


As a media commentator, his unique insights have featured on SKY Business News, The Australian Financial Review, ABC Radio National, The Economist, Forbes, and Bloomberg. As an international keynote speaker, his presentations have captivated audiences across Asia Pacific, the USA, and Europe, including Mobile World Congress. As a thought-leader, over 150 boards and leadership teams, including Fortune 100 corporations, each year seek his advice on strategy, emerging technologies, and their future impact.


A distinguished author, his 20+ thought leadership research publications have become internationally recognised for their influence, including by the World Economic Forum.


In an executive capacity, he is a member of the Optus Enterprise & Business Leadership team as a Chief Scientist for Government where he leads the creation of world-class thought leadership to guide innovation with emerging technologies for/to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


In a non-executive capacity, he is an Adjunct Professor (Industry) at the University of Technology Business School; a director on the board of Community First Bank; on the technology advisory board for REST Super and Wake by Reach. He is also on the Policy Advisory Network for the Australian Information Industry Association and a former board member of the Australian Payments Council.


Educated in Australia and trained in the USA at Sydney and Stanford Universities respectively, he has a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Management and an MBA. He is also a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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