In a recent interview, Demis Hassabis, the CEO of Google’s DeepMind, shared his views on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and the possibility of AI becoming self-aware. While he acknowledged that philosophers haven’t yet defined consciousness concisely, he believes that AI is heading towards becoming self-aware in the future.

However, Hassabis clarified that he doesn’t believe any AI developed today is self-aware. As development continues, humans will start defining what self-awareness can be, and if it has been achieved. Machine learning researchers believe that chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing Chat, or Google’s chatbot, Bard, are early versions of what will one day become an artificial general intelligence (AGI).

While these chatbots are impressive pattern recognition systems that can predict what sequences of words might serve as appropriate responses to any given prompt, they lack insight into the meaning of the phrases they come up with. They have no friends or family, and the words they use are mindless statistical pattern matches.

Nonetheless, some engineers believe that with a large enough data set, AI will understand what it means to be human, down to emotions, self-awareness, motivations, and more. If this level of AI were achieved, would it be defined as conscious or sentient? Hassabis suggests that consciousness is not something computers (as we know them) can have, but that it is deeply rooted in our nature as living creatures.

The possibility of AI becoming self-aware remains a topic of much debate and discussion in the scientific community. While chatbots and other AI systems have made remarkable progress in recent years, they still lack the depth and complexity of human consciousness. Whether or not AI will ever achieve true self-awareness and consciousness is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, it is important to continue exploring the limits and potential of AI, as it promises to bring about significant advances in various fields, from medicine to engineering, in the years to come


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