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Information 2017, 8(4), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/info8040161

Can Computers Become Conscious, an Essential Condition for the Singularity?

Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George, Toronto, ON M5S 1A7, Canada
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 3 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AI AND THE SINGULARITY: A FALLACY OR A GREAT OPPORTUNITY?)
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Abstract

Given that consciousness is an essential ingredient for achieving Singularity, the notion that an Artificial General Intelligence device can exceed the intelligence of a human, namely, the question of whether a computer can achieve consciousness, is explored. Given that consciousness is being aware of one’s perceptions and/or of one’s thoughts, it is claimed that computers cannot experience consciousness. Given that it has no sensorium, it cannot have perceptions. In terms of being aware of its thoughts it is argued that being aware of one’s thoughts is basically listening to one’s own internal speech. A computer has no emotions, and hence, no desire to communicate, and without the ability, and/or desire to communicate, it has no internal voice to listen to and hence cannot be aware of its thoughts. In fact, it has no thoughts, because it has no sense of self and thinking is about preserving one’s self. Emotions have a positive effect on the reasoning powers of humans, and therefore, the computer’s lack of emotions is another reason for why computers could never achieve the level of intelligence that a human can, at least, at the current level of the development of computer technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: computers; consciousness; singularity; artificial general intelligence; intelligence; emotion; self computers; consciousness; singularity; artificial general intelligence; intelligence; emotion; self
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Logan, R.K. Can Computers Become Conscious, an Essential Condition for the Singularity? Information 2017, 8, 161.

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