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Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Self-awareness is, and always will be, the ultimate goal of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. It’s essentially an extension of Type III AI - Theory of Mind (ToM). In ToM AI, machines are aware of and understand the emotional and mental states of others, but with self-aware AI, machines will have their own emotions, needs, beliefs and possibly even desires.

Ultimately, AI developers must not only master human consciousness, but replicate it within machines. This technology currently only exists hypothetically. We are decades, if not centuries, away from creating self-aware AI.

Yes, this is the type of AI that doomsayers are concerned about. Self-aware AI has incredible potential to progress civilization beyond what’s imaginable. But there is also potential for catastrophe if self-aware AI is capable of ideas such as self-preservation, since machines at this level could easily outmaneuver the intellect of any human being.

Though my theory is that if we manage to achieve such a great feat in technology, then we will manage to put the necessary safeguards into place. 😏

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