Rodney Brooks moderated a debate between Ray Kurzweil and David Gelernter on the subject of whether or not a conscious machine will ever be built.
unforunately it requires realplayer:http://web.mit.edu/spotlight/creativity/
(the first hour holds the debate, with a 45 min intermission to skip past, then another hour for a historical talk about turing and the history of AI)
Its a little advanced for those with a background in AI, but still quite thought provoking.
Here are a few highlights:
emotions (and a body) required for intelligence
"you dont just think with your brain, you think with your body"
the definition of intelligence is subjective, meaning there is no way to prove something is intelligent or not ('intellengence check')
suggests that consciousness could be an illusion, something we just made up . . .
is consciousness an emergent behavior of a complex system?
is consciousness possible with software?
(what about simulations of neurons?)
argues that if you can model every system in the brain and combine them, we can get a human brain
"a neuron is just a machine and hence can be modeled" - massively parallel system
"model neuron by neuron and neurotransmitter by neurotransmitter"
"brain simulators" must operate at much more complex levels than the turing test
turing test fails to tell us anything about intelligence - only a test of performance . . . doesnt prove that an entity is conscious, only how it performs compared to a conscious entity
is human intelligence a good model, as opposed to say the intelligence of a giant squid?
other interesting quotes/paraphrases:
"in a world where we deem most humans useless, why are we so hot to build new ones?"
we will one day come to believe these machines are conscious - whether they are or not
can a machine be built with a need for a non-physical thing, like humans need religion?
and my own thoughts:
something marvin minsky said . . . if you replace each neuron one with identical electronical components, without interrupting the stream of consciousness, is that mind still conscious?
i think the answer to this question is the answer to the debate . . .
anyway, I know a lot of you have thoughts on this, go!