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    Here’s How We’ll Know an AI Is Conscious

    Zombies are supposed to be capable of asking any question about the nature of experience. It’s worth wondering, though, how a person or machine devoid of experience could reflect on experience it doesn’t have.Photograph by Ars Electronica / Flickr The Australian philosopher David Chalmers famously asked whether “philosophical zombies” are conceivable—people who behave like you […]

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    This Test for Machine Consciousness Has an Audience Problem

    The audience problem highlights a longstanding worry about robot consciousness—that outward behavior, however sophisticated, would never be enough to prove that the lights are on, so to speak. A well-designed machine could always hypothetically fake it.Photograph by Paul Biryukov / Shutterstock Someday, humanity might build conscious machines—machines that not only seem to think and feel, […]

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    Should You Get an AI Nanny for Your Child?

    Mattel’s AI nanny, called Aristotle, recently gained the notorious distinction of being subject to a bipartisan protest in the US Congress. Plus, there was a petition against it with over 15,000 signatures. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which organized the petition, argued that Aristotle is a consumerist ploy. It “attempts to replace the care, […]

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    Why A.I. Is Just Not Funny

    Although A.I. robots can pick up on jokes, they have a lot to learn about telling them.Queen Mary University of London / YouTube In the 2004 film I, Robot, Detective Del Spooner asks an A.I. named Sonny: “Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?” Sonny responds: […]

  • HAL 9000

    Will Humans Be Able to Control Computers That Are Smarter Than Us?

    The ominous eye of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey If humans go on to create artificial intelligence, will it present a significant danger to us? Several technical luminaries have been open and clear with respect to this possibility: Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has equated it to “summoning the demon”; Stephen Hawking warns […]

  • Alan Turing sculpture Bletchley Park Stephen Kettle

    Goodbye, Turing Test; Bring on the Turing Decathlon

    A statue of Alan Turing by sculptor Stephen Kettle made entirely of pieces of slate. The statue depicts Turing working on an Enigma machine, which the Nazis used to encode messages, and is located at Bletchley Park, the British-government site where Turing and colleagues did their code-breaking. Photo by Richard Gillin via Flickr How many […]