Machines Can Be Conscious in the Same Sense as Humans

Ben Goertzel, H+
Can bots feel joy? Robot heads being programed to feel emotion

This is a separate question from whether machines can be intelligent, or whether they can act like they feel. The question is whether machines — if suitably constructed and programmed — can have awareness, passion, subjective experience … consciousness?

I certainly think so, but generally speaking there is no consensus among experts. It’s fair to say that — even without introducing machines into the picture — consciousness is without doubt one of the most confused notions in the lexicon of modern science and philosophy.

Given the thorny and contentious nature of the subject, I’m not quite sure why I took it upon myself to organize a workshop on Machine Consciousness… but earlier this year, that’s exactly what I did. The Machine Consciousness Workshop was held on June 14, in Hong Kong, as part of the larger Toward a Science of Consciousness conference and Asia Consciousness Festival. The TSC conference as a whole attracted hundreds of participants, but only a couple dozen deigned to venture into the riskier domain of machine consciousness. Among these brave souls, I reckon there were more than a couple dozen views on the matter at hand! …

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