Saturday, June 3, 2023
HomeTechnologyWithout Consciousness, AIs Will Be Sociopaths

Without Consciousness, AIs Will Be Sociopaths


ChatGPT, the latest technological sensation, is an artificial intelligence chatbot with an amazing ability to carry on a conversation. It relies on a massive network of artificial neurons that loosely mimics the human brain, and it has been trained by analyzing the information resources of the internet. ChatGPT has processed more text than any human is likely to have read in a lifetime, allowing it to respond to questions fluently and even to imitate specific individuals, answering queries the way it thinks they would. My teenage son recently used ChatGPT to argue about politics with an imitation Karl Marx.

As a neuroscientist specializing in the brain mechanisms of consciousness, I find talking to chatbots an unsettling experience. Are they conscious? Probably not. But given the rate of technological improvement, will they be in the next couple of years? And how would we even know?


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