How Much Consciousness Does an iPhone Have?

— The New Yorker

What has more consciousness: a puppy or a baby? An iPhone 5 or an octopus? For a long time, the question seemed impossible to address. But recently, Giulio Tononi, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, argued that consciousness can be measured—captured in a single value that he calls Φ, the Greek letter phi.

The intuition behind Tononi’s idea, known as the Integrated Information Theory, is that we experience consciousness when we integrate different sensory inputs.

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