AI Won’t be Conscious: Exploring My Reply to Susan Schneider

Here’s why AI won’t have consciousness (A response to Susan Schneider).

You may remember that if you were there to watch the live debate, I was unable to respond to Susan’s point at the end because we ran out time. This essay is meant to record my response in writing so that I can get it out of me. I must first give some context for those who did not watch the debate in real time and do not have an IAI subscription to watch it. You can skip to the section \”My missing response\” if you watched the debate.


My position is that there’s no reason to think that silicon computers could ever be conscious. The hypothesis is not something I can categorically reject, but I also cannot categorically dismiss the Flying Spaghetti Monster hypothesis, which is also logically coherent. In the context of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, appeals to logical consistency are as insignificant as they are in the debate over conscious AI. What is important is not whether something is logically coherent or can be categorically rejected, but which hypothesis we find compelling.


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