Modest but still (to me at least) impressive improvements in the area of Artificial Intelligence over the years, coupled with some truly impressive results in the field of brain modeling (and ambitious undertakings) in the Blue Brain Project and Human Brain Project, among others, perhaps a tad too much science fiction on the topic (Peter Hamilton, who I only recently started reading, has some excellent storylines dealing with this topic—it’s fiction, but still thought-provoking) and, of course, far to much coffee early on a Saturday morning have left me wondering about how humanity will react when and if we are confronted with a consciousness completely of our own creation. I’d like to think we’d welcome it (them maybe) into the sentience club with open arms. Thus I am always very, very nice to my computers, just in case—it’s good practice for the day they become our overlords. But then I look around the world and see how far we are from people accepting even their fellow man as, individually and universally, sentient creatures that deserve their empathy and goodwill and my hope dims a bit. Okay, enough early a.m. maudlin. I can smell that the second round of coffee is up. And my computer tells me I have tasks to do, NAO!
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