All posts tagged: nerve impulses

Conscious AI Is the Second-Scariest Kind

Conscious AI Is the Second-Scariest Kind

Everyone knows AIs are dangerous. Everyone knows they can rattle off breakthroughs in wildlife tracking and protein folding before lunch, put half the workforce out of a job by supper, and fake enough reality to kill whatever’s left of democracy itself before lights out. Fewer people admit that AIs are intelligent—not yet, anyway—and even fewer, that they might be conscious. We can handle GPT-4 beating 90 percent of us on the SAT, but we might not be so copacetic with the idea that AI could wake up—could already be awake, if you buy what Blake Lemoine (formerly of Google) or Ilya Sutskever (a co-founder of OpenAI) has been selling. Lemoine notoriously lost his job after publicly (if unconvincingly) arguing that Google’s LaMDA chatbot was self-aware. Back in 2022, Sutskever opined, “It may be that today’s large neural networks are slightly conscious.” And just this past August, 19 specialists in AI, philosophy, and cognitive science released a paper suggesting that although no current AI system was “a strong candidate for consciousness,” there was no reason why …