Conscious Machines

Professor Igor Aleksander works at University College, London, researching in the field of Neural Systems Engineering – basically, he’s trying to build conscious machines. In this interview at Velcro City Tourist Board, he discusses the difference between his work and that of artificial intelligence researchers, the definition of non-animal consciousness, whether or not we will need to define a set of rights for machine entities, and his hopes and fears for the next few decades of science and technology.

2 thoughts on “Conscious Machines”

  1. i am kind of uneasy that when presented with the idea of a conscious machine, people (even the scientist) feel the need to immediately discuss how we can maintain control/superiority over them. and also think that the interviewer could have asked more questions as to how the research was progressing.

  2. I am personally convinced (though I couldn’t explain why) that we can, given time, create “robots” (for lack of a better term that are either intelligent *or* communication *or* conscious *or* selfaware, just like we want them.

    Yes, we could have non-intelligent, self-aware, non-conscious communicating systems, but it would be a stretch.

    Looking at the animal kingdom I know that a lot of modes of being are possible. Personally I think self-awareness or conscience is overrated. It may lack meaning in the real AI world of the future. I personally think you can create AI systems with conscience, with a subroutine called conscience (which could be switched off) or without it.

    Another term – sapience.

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