“Can Machines Be Conscious?”

Essay by mncovert1sUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2013

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"Can Machines Be Conscious?"

In regards to the topic entitled "Can Machines be Conscious?" I strongly agree that machines in today's time and in past times have a conscious. A machine can be simply categorized as an object that does work at the expense of the consummation of another material; for example, fuel is what our car engines consume to mechanize propulsion. From the point of view of Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi, Authors of "Can Machines Be Conscious?" see that in the future, it might be possible that our minds are downloaded onto a hard drive and uploaded into some type of contraption that holds our memories; like robots only with our memories, feelings, and consciousness. If we think about a computer having a mind of its own or the ability to 'feel', most of us cannot fathom the possibility of this. We have created A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) programs that have the ability to think about what they are asked and how to respond to certain problems that the computer is faced with.

Most people would consider that a type of 'consciousness'; however, from my perspective this is not the case.

Consciousness is defined shortly as the ability to decide between a few options with the factors of weighting factors, benefits, risks, sacrifices, timeliness, and most importantly emotions. An A.I. system has the ability to perform decision making in all of the above factors except emotional factors. That is why an A.I. system does not have a 'consciousness' per say. My example of a computer having the ability to 'think' for itself is no more than a coincidence in the mind of the general public. When a computer acts up and deletes certain programs; or when the same computer changes programs on a whim. Most of us...