In late 2017, cognitive scientists Stanislas Dehaene, Hakwan Lau and Sid Kouider theorized in a published review that consciousness is “resolutely computational” and subsequently possible in machines. The three neuroscientists are from the Collège de France, University of California and PSL Research University, respectively. They addressed the question of whether machines will ever be conscious:
“[But] the empirical evidence is compatible with the possibility that consciousness arises from nothing more than specific computations.”
In Japan, robots are already working as shop assistants, in personal care and in schools.
Genius concept or existential threat?
Esteemed physicist, Stephen Hawking who passed away in March, warned that the development of full artificial intelligence could lead to the end of humanity. Hawking told the BBC that it could signal the end of the human race. He was very uneasy in regard to the consequences of creating something that could match or outpace humans. “It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” he cautioned.
In late October, Saudi Arabia announced that Sophia, a humanoid developed by Hanson Robotics, is the first ever robot citizen. Sophia spoke at the Future Investment Initiative, held in Riyadh, about its desire to live peacefully among humans. The comments belied Sophia’s past remarks about wishing to “destroy humans.” – Business Insider
A (slightly) more optimistic viewpoint comes from Rollo Carpenter, creator of Cleverbot: “I believe we will remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many of the world problems will be realized.”
China and Russia are apparently hoping to finally surpass the US in military dominance, by way of AI. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that, “artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind.” He added that, “whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”
overview of quantum computing.
Hollywood producers aren’t the only people stumped. As machine intelligence barrels forward at breakneck speed—not only exceeding human performance on games such as DOTA and Go, but doing so without the need for human expertise—the question has once more entered the scientific mainstream.
Are machines on the verge of consciousness?
This week, in a review published in the prestigious journal Science, cognitive scientists Drs. Stanislas Dehaene, Hakwan Lau and Sid Kouider of the Collège de France, University of California, Los Angeles and PSL Research University, respectively, argue: not yet, but there is a clear path forward.
The reason? Consciousness is “resolutely computational,” the authors say, in that it results from specific types of information processing, made possible by the hardware of the brain.
There is no magic juice, no extra spark—in fact, an experiential component (“what is it like to be conscious?”) isn’t even necessary to implement consciousness.
If consciousness results purely from the computations within our three-pound organ, then endowing machines with a similar quality is just a matter of translating biology to code.
Much like the way current powerful machine learning techniques heavily borrow from neurobiology, the authors write, we may be able to achieve artificial consciousness by studying the structures in our own brains that generate consciousness and implementing those insights as computer algorithms.
h/t Digital mix guy