BOB HIRSHON (host):
The self-aware machine. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Can machines be conscious? In the journal Science, College of France cognitive psychologist Stanislas Dehaene and his colleagues argue that consciousness requires just two things: Global Availability, or C1, meaning that information can be stored and available for use in other situations. And Self-Monitoring, or C2: the ability to know what you know, and what’s relevant in a given situation. Dehaene says a car with C1 and C2 would care when its gas light came on, just like a person.
STANISLAS DEHAENE (College of France):
It would care because it would know that it’s relevant, it would lower its consumption, maybe try and stop at the next gas station and so on and so forth.
Other scientists wonder whether such a car would be truly conscious, or merely behave that way. Which begs the question of whether there’s really any difference. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, The Science Society.
Story by Bob Hirshon