Brains & Minds
The Minds of Machines
Namit Arora considers the complexity of consciousness and its implications for artificial intelligence.
As a graduate student of computer engineering in the early 90s, I recall impassioned late night debates on whether machines can ever be intelligent – meaning, possessing the cognition, common sense, and problem-solving skills of ordinary humans. Scientists and bearded philosophers spoke of ‘humanoid robots’. Neural network research was hot, and one of my professors was a star in the field. A breakthrough seemed inevitable and imminent. Still, I felt certain that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a doomed enterprise.