Guest Talk: Why machines will soon be conscious

14. Juli 2017

Many people, including workers in robotics and artificial intelligence, think that, while machines will gradually solve problems and play games better than humans, they will never be able to feel: they will never properly experience sensory qualities like the redness of red, the sound of a bell or the pain of the prick of a pin. I wish to dispell that argument as a form of self-entertained confusion designed to protect humans from the onslought of machine consciousness. I will show that when we clarify what we mean by having a conscious experience, there is nothing to prevent machines from being conscious like us. The "sensorimotor" approach I present is not merely a philosophical theory, but it makes scientific predictions concerning topics like change blindness, sensory substitution, and color perception.