Scientists Say They’re Now Actively Trying to Build Conscious Robots

2022 was a banner year for artificial intelligence, and particularly taking into account the launch of OpenAI’s incredibly impressive ChatGPT, the industry is showing no sign of stopping.

But for some industry leaders, chatbots and image-generators are far from the final robotic frontier. Next up? Consciousness.

“This topic was taboo,” Hod Lipson, the mechanical engineer in charge of the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University, told The New York Times. “We were almost forbidden from talking about it — ‘Don’t talk about the c-word; you won’t get tenure’ — so in the beginning I had to disguise it, like it was something else.”

Consciousness is one of the longest standing, and most divisive, questions in the field of artificial intelligence. And while to some it’s science fiction — and indeed has been the plot of countless sci-fi books, comics, and films — to others, like Lipson, it’s a goal, one that would undoubtedly change human life as we know it for good.

“This is not just another research question that we’re working on — this is the question,” the researcher continued. “This is bigger than curing cancer.”

“If we can create a machine that will have consciousness on par with a human, this will eclipse everything else we’ve done,” he added. “That machine itself can cure cancer.”

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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