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Will Robots Ever Become Conscious?

The New York Times has an article that asks, Can Robots Become Conscious? Well, I don’t know, and neither do they, and neither does just about anyone else. It seems that before we can know whether robots can attain consciousness, we first have to figure out just what consciousness is. Then, and only then can we know if a robot has attained it. Some, like Hans Moravec, think humans are just a grand machine and if so we can someday build one. But others think humans and their consciousness could be more like something spiritual or a quantum effect or an electromagnetic field? And, if so, we have to figure out what that more is if we plan to simulate it. Perhaps robots already are conscious, just not at a level of consciousness that we consider truly conscious? Or perhaps, if we can just pass the Turing test, then that would be good enough? And, well, if we make a sentient being, what then?

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