Is AI becoming self-aware? Experts weigh in on the possibility

Jason Weiland
Is AI becoming self-aware?Photo byJason Weiland

Hold onto your ChatGPT folks, because it looks like AI is about to become self-aware! Or at least, more people are saying that it will and they are worried. Yes, you heard that right, it seems the machines are finally coming to life, and this time they're bringing some big guns to the party. Demis Hassabis, the CEO of Google-owned DeepMind, AI may be headed in the direction of self-awareness.

Google is located in Mountain View, CA, while Deepmind is located in London.

In a recent interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Hassabis revealed that philosophers are still grappling with the definition of consciousness. But when it comes to self-awareness and other such properties, there's a real possibility that AI could possess them in the not-too-distant future.

Now, this might not come as a complete surprise, given that last year, Google fired AI researcher Blake Lemoine after he claimed that the company's LaMDA language model had gained sentience. It caused a media maelstrom, and understandably so. But Lemoine isn't the only one making waves in the AI community.

OpenAI's chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, has cryptically suggested that "today's large neural networks are slightly conscious." That's right, slightly conscious. It may not be much, but it's a start. And just last week, Oxford AI researcher Nick Bostrom threw his hat into the ring, saying that some AI assistants could be candidates for having some degree of sentience.

Of course, there are still plenty of people who think that AI will never be conscious or sentient. But it seems that more and more experts in the field are "coming out" in support of the concept. And let's face it, it's a little scary to think about.

We may not have the expertise to say whether AI has achieved consciousness or sentience, but one thing's for sure: the AI wars are just getting started. So buckle up, grab some popcorn, and get ready for a wild ride. Who knows where this will lead, but one thing's for sure: it's going to be one heck of a show.

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