I’m afraid this column completely misses the boat. Thinking is not conciousness. Conciousness is an awareness. For example, a sleepwalking person may may hold a conversation with you, or may perform other tasks which clearly require thinking, but they are not concious, that is, they are not aware of what they are doing. Intelligence tests - whether Turing tests, SATs, or whatever other mental challenges you devise - do nothing to test awareness; you can build an arbitrarily complicated machine which is in all measurable ways smarter than humans, one which positively drips with the Essence of Thought, but you still don’t know if it is concious.

Yeah, you know YOU’RE conscious, but what about the schlub in the next cubicle? If you ask certain questions, and get certain answers, you may reasonbly conclude that he’s consciuous, but he might not think so.

:: singing ::: give a little whistle (wheet-wheet), give a little whistle (wheet-whoot), and always let your conscious be your guide
Yes, yes, I know, it’s a pun, a play on words.

How do you know a sleepwaling person is not conscious? All we know is that they have no memory of consciousness during the sleepwalking. If conscious activity is not imprinted on the memory in some way - how could you tell a person was conscious?

Lance is on the right track. The discussion of computers is an interesting diversion.
“Conciousness is the faculty of awareness - the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

Directly of indirectly, every phenomenon of consciousness is derived from one’s awareness of the external world. Some object, i.e. some content, is involved in every state of awareness…
A content-less state of awareness is a contradiction in terms.” Introduction to Objectivist Epsitemology, Ayn Rand.

Obviously what I quote here is a very superficial treatment. If you want to read the most well-thought-out and comprehensive work on conciousness on the market, I suggest the above book. It is a serious read but well worth it

AI is the basis for more movies
and books then you can shake a
mouse at. You got to realize the
importants of it. Think of what
terminator 1 & 2 were about and
you’ll get the picture. Imagine
if you were trying out your new
PC and it realized it was a PC.
Would you have the right to turn
it off ? It knows it is it like
you know you’re you. What if it
got scared you would turn it off
and it tryed to find a way to turn
you off first. Conciousness Might
just be awareness. who knows what
all is aware. Do whales and
dolfins laugh at us or perhaps cry
for us? Do trees observe us with
wonder? Does a flower enjoy the
wind fondling it on a warm summer
day? To think the way we see
things is more accurate or real
then what others see is
nearsighted at best. Bees can see
ultaviolet which is beyond our
visible spectrum. dogs and other
animals can hear things far higher
or lower then our range. It
doesn’t make there perception of
reality less acurate but more.
ranges above and below our sinces
are there we just can’t percieve
them without special tools. Some
creatures may hear colors and see
sounds. they may know alot more
about whats going on then us. We
might be shocked to see there
reality. I am concious because I
think I am. They might think they
are too.