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One possibility about the machinery of consciousness that would help address the Hard Problem is that the brain is not creating consciousness from scratch, but tapping into some currently misunderstood or unknown physical phenomenon. It's hard to see how information processing alone (which can be done by monks with paper and pencil, if incredibly slowly) can give rise to subjective experience.

It seems that this phenomenon, whatever it is, plays a central role in sensory perception, and there's reason to think that it's present even in animals with simple brains. So I suspect that we're looking for some kind of simple operation that can happen on the scale of a small number of neurons, maybe even a single neuron.

This is all speculation of course, informed by some knowledge and intuition, but speculation nonetheless. But it's the only way to push the frontier, and the unwillingness to engage with consciousness as a matter of serious study seems to be a major failing of brain science and AI.

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