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Thinking machines

Ever since the advent of computers people have waited for those machines to start thinking. To become equals to us. Despite the incredible advancements made since and how much it can feel like they do, a real thinking machine is still far away. Or is it even possible in the end.

Today's state of the art machine learning models might yield impressive results. But at the core, there is no real intelligence in play. It's just layers upon layers of clever programming. The end results are mere manifestations of what we have told the machine to do.

We can keep improving the complexity of those rules seemingly indefinitely. But no matter how complex they grow they are still rooted in humane intelligence. Following this path we can deduce that such artificial consciousness is hence impossible.

But what if we can achieve the perfection: a machine that perfectly replicates a human being. Would it still be just programmed to act like human? Where does we draw the line between self-consciousness? If such replica is not deemed capable of individual free thinking are we even capable of that?