“Was God a Hacker That Put Us All Together?” We Wouldn’t Know.

The best artificial intelligences today can perform narrow tasks pretty well. If we want to solve an equation, drive on a highway, identify skin cancer, or win at Go, we can enlist A.I.s to do it for us. But, depending on what you think about consciousness, there could soon be a day when A.I.-powered robots look, act, and feel sentient, conscious. But at what point do robots that look, act, and feel conscious become actually conscious? To truly raise the question, A.I. researchers will need to make some significant headway. A.I.s will need to go from narrow intelligence to broad intelligence. It won’t suffice if a machine can merely get a perfect SAT score, which is itself a long ways off: At the very least, A.I.s will need to perfect…


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