Future AI in the therapist's chair

A philosophical story about consciousness

If future Artificial Intelligence were to develop sufficiently, it’s not unlikely that it would begin to question what humans have wondered for years: can AI really acquire consciousness? In this fictional dialogue between an AI and its therapist, Keith Frankish explores the question and wonders: is human consciousness really all that unique?

The year is 2123. There has been rapid progress in robotics and AI over the past century, and artificial persons now live and work alongside humans. Like humans, they have their psychological problems, and many consult a human therapist. One such therapist, Henry Harrison (HH), is receiving his first patient of the day. Her name is Eliza (EL), and she has adopted the appearance and speech patterns of Audrey Hepburn.

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