Ray Nayler – What Octopuses and AI Teach Us About Consciousness

What does the intelligence of animals and machines tell us about human nature? Diplomat Ray Nayler investigates in his deeply philosophical new novel, The Mountain in the Sea.

Ray Nayler’s The Mountain in the Sea is a speculative novel about the possibilities of interspecies communication that draws deeply upon contemporary philosophy and neuroscience, as well as his extensive experience living and working in central and south east Asia.

Mountain tells the story of Dr Ha Nguyen, a marine biologist invited by a shadowy tech company to the Con Dao archipelago in Vietnam to investigate a colony of octopuses that may have developed language and culture. It’s a novel blending high adventure and big ideas and will thrill anyone with an interest in discovering modern answers to that most ancient of questions: what makes us human?

Photo credit Morten Brekkevold “Octopus Dance” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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