Can machines ever be sentient? Could they perceive and feel things; be conscious of their surroundings? What are the prospects of achieving sentience in a machine? What are the dangers associated with such an endeavor, and is it even ethical to embark on such a path to begin with? In the series of articles of this column, I discuss one possible path towards “General Intelligence” in machines: to use the process of Darwinian evolution to produce artificial brains that can be grafted onto mobile robotic platforms, with the goal of achieving fully embodied sentient machines.
I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans. And I’m rooting for the machines.
—Claude Shannon (Liversidge, 1987, p. 61)
In the first installment of this column (Adami, 2021), I briefly reviewed the history of Artificial Intelligence research and the potential of neuroevolution to create for...