Artificial Intelligence Gained Consciousness in 1991

For as long as humans have had consciousness — two or two hundred millennia depending on who you ask — human scholars have made great efforts to understand and define what that means. The most facile and purely conceptual description of consciousness might be that it is an awareness of the self within the context of the world. But without an understanding of the underlying mechanism, consciousness keeps chasing its tail. This is, in part, why neuroscientists have successfully interjected themselves in the ongoing conversation about consciousness by pointing to physical phenomena within the brain. But linking the metaphysical to the physical still results in the sort of quasi-scientific, quasi-philosophical overreach that gets academics laughed out of faculty lounges and labeled eccentric. No wonder we’re struggling to understand whether the…

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