Poll: will sentient machines akin to those in science-fiction ever exist?

Yeah, yeah, the proper word is sapient. But even though it’s probably a misuse, sentient is more common. I’ve made the poll public, and allowed multiple choices for no particular reason. I neglected to put in “I don’t know,” but I think the Fool of a Took option works just as well. That’s what I put.

Sapient what? Robots?

Close enough to the real thing that you can’t tell the difference, yes.

You replied before I edited the trhead title.

I vote “Yes,” but I can’t with confidence suggest whether it will be achieved by any line of thinking we would call a descendant of “current AI research” or something entirely revolutionary, so I chose both. :stuck_out_tongue: I do suspect that it’ll be a long time coming, though.

I’ve been told from a reliable source that before we can have a bunch of C3POs and R2D2s running around; first we’ll have to come up with a new kind of IC (Integrated circuit). One that works on a completely different premise. (Reason being, Moore’s Law has about reached the end of it’s rope.)

As in a giant leap forward. In other words, this device would have to be to ICs as ICs are to the old vacuum tubes.

I really don’t care if we invent sentient robots anytime soon, I just want my flying car. The one that was all but promised to me back in the 60’s. That damn thing is way overdue and I want it NOW!

And within my lifetime.

The next stage of evolution is technological.


You left out: “Yes, but it will only be a smart as a human, and cost $10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to make.” Think Larry Niven.

ETA: actually, Niven’s a bad example; his AI are super-smart, and go catatonic after 6 months or so. Think Stirling, instead.

I voted yes, but it’ll take a different approach. I figure we’ll get Berserkers, Borg, or Cylons eventually. Dibs on a Six…

Yes, but the interestingly intelligent machines (not bio-engineered, just purposely built soft/hardware) will probably be very weird. I personally don’t think it’s possible to create machines that think like we do. Our minds are loaded with emotional, physical and subconscious baggage that “stabilizes” us into humanity. It will probably be more efficient to built intelligences that don’t mimic our minds.

On the other hand, building according to our blueprint might give us a result quicker, but I would bet the early ones will be completely mental.

In any case, I’m quite certain it’s possible to build a sapient machine (or software).

Well, OK, but I get seven.

Do half borgs count?

Three things:

[li]If you’re going to complain about me leaving out a poll option, you’re suppoosed to say Fool of a Took (or something else Gandalfy) first.[/li][li]Your possibility is logically included in the options I gave.[/li][li]Upon further review I only had two things but I cannot change things now as I do not know how to use the backspace button.[/li][/ol]

I don’t see why we couldn’t get to a point that a machine can mimic human behavior and for all intents and purposes appear sentient to humans.

I think the way technology is going we will see a much weirder biotech mixture before sentient robots. Technology we are working on now allows people to control artificial limbs with their thoughts. I think we’ll see robots with human brains before sentient 100% artificial robots. Right now people want cranialy implanted ipods and eyes with infrared built in. Walking talking robots will seem normal in comparison to the people they are found with.

Fool of a Took, you left out “it’s too expensive and too hard for them to ever be made.”

Seriously, the problems with making them don’t have to do with a soul or a biobase, just that we’re probably never going to get it together enough to develop them. Like those flying cars we were supposed to have according to one of my third-grade text books.

Do we even know what sentience is?

On a related note: Has anyone read Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology? I have not, but a friend was telling me about it over the weekend. Is it worth reading?

I did, I called you a Fool of a Took! Look at the poll results! I just didn’t see the need to call you one again in a posted reply. I’m not one to toss the “Fool” epithet around too much, lest back-splatter catch me, too.

Seriously, I kinda winged my answer glibly, and missed the mark.

elfkin’s reply is in a similar vein to what I was saying, in that I think true AI will only make a sentient machine about as smart as an average human, for prohibitive costs.

Granted, I’m no computer scientist, but I really don’t see why we need thinking machines, though Gnu knows, we don’t have enough thinking humans…

Oops. Gotta get to work, and all…

An average human with all of the abilities we associate with computers - perfect memory and the ability to do complex math in its head.

We can edit titles now?

That’s called a Mentat.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains. The stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. *