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Jeff Hawkins on human consciousness and how to replicate it – Source fastcompany.com

I recently attended a panel discussion titled Being Human in the Age of Intelligent Machines. At one point during the evening, a philosophy professor from Yale said that if a machine ever became conscious, then we would probably be morally obligated to not turn it off. The implication was that if something is conscious, even a machine, then it has moral rights, so turning it off is equivalent to murder. Wow! Imagine being sent to prison for unplugging a computer. Should we be concerned about this?

Most neuroscientists don’t talk much about consciousness. They assume that the brain can be understood like every other physical system, and consciousness, whatever it is, will be explained in the same way. Since there isn’t even an agreement on what the word consciousness means, it is best to not worry about it. Philosophers, on the other hand, love to talk (and write books) about consciousness. Some believe that consciousness is beyond physical description. That is, even if you had a…

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Source : fastcompany.com

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