Robots becoming self-aware?!
By: Unknown (found on the net)
Human life vs. robotic life
Terminator 2: Judgment Day poses some interesting questions regarding the future of machines, forcing us to continually analyse how we define what a human life form is. The Terminator T-800 model is a very sophisticated robot compared with our current technology. He can walk, talk, perceive, and behave like a human being. His power cell supplies energy for 120 years, and an alternate power circuit provides error control in case of damage.
But what is more important, T-800 is self aware since it was created by Sky-Net. Sky-Net has a neural processor that is so complex that the system began to learn with an exponential rate and, after a while, it became self-aware. It is interesting to consider the prospect of machines becoming self aware, as this is a distinctly human feature.
If we remove structural difference between biological and artificial brains, the question of artificial consciousness can only become religious. If human consciousness is determined by divine intervention, then clearly no artificial system can ever become self-aware.
If, on the other hand, human consciousness is an electrical neural state spontaneously developed by complex brains, then the possibility of realising an artificial self-aware being remains open.
If consciousness is a physical property of the brain, then the question becomes, when will a computer become self-aware?
Programming vs. self-awareness
There are some obvious clues that the Terminator machines have yet to achieve human status, although the T-800 staunchly defends the boy, he does this because he is programmed to do so. When told not to kill humans, the T-800 asks "Why?". This is because he is programmed to feel no sympathy for humans, just to protect John at any costs, including human life.
Could the T-800 have been programmed to feel sympathy, is it possible for a robot to be programmed with human feelings and emotions?
The other humanoid in the movie is the T-1000, whose only human feature is his appearance and function.
However, he is made of a metal matrix which can flow like liquid and reform in any shape it desires. This type of technology is completely unfeasible at this time, but the more robotic T-800, with a self-aware and learning neural network, has a foreseeable future.
Although it could be programmed to have feelings, it would not be an entirely organic life form. However, it would come decidedly closer to deserving of human rights at some level.