Conscious machines‭: ‬why we should fake it‭?‬

Dr‭. ‬David Faitelson‭, ‬Afeka Tel Aviv Academic College of Engineering‭ (‬IL‭)‬

Abstract‭: ‬I would like to reorient the way we look at intelligent machines using two seemingly contradictory viewpoints‭. ‬In the‭ ‬first part of my talk‭, ‬I will use several simple thought experiments to demonstrate that intelligent machines‭, ‬albeit extremely‭ ‬powerful and useful‭, ‬are just mechanical devices‭, ‬with no actual intelligence or consciousness‭. ‬Their purpose and meaning is determined only with regard to their usefulness to us‭. ‬In the second part of my talk I will argue that in order to successfully exploit the potential of intelligent machines‭, ‬we should design them to mimic conscious beings‭. ‬This mimicry is required for two major reasons‭: ‬first‭, ‬our perception is extremely well adapted to communicate with other living beings‭. ‬Thus‭, ‬this mode of communication is a wide channel through which we can process large amounts of information quickly and effortlessly‭. ‬Second‭, ‬intelligent‭ ‬machines are most useful when they are autonomous‭. ‬An autonomous agent is useful if we can give it a goal and leave it alone‭, ‬freeing us to work at a higher level‭. ‬This kind of interaction is similar to how we work with animals like dogs and horses‭, ‬something we have been doing successfully for thousands of years‭. ‬Thus‭, ‬this is a good model for designing interaction between us and‭ ‬our autonomous machines‭. ‬Finally‭, ‬I will conclude my talk with a call to designers to wrest control of intelligent machines development from the hands of the technologists‭, ‬because only the designers can ensure that this powerful technology will serve us‭ ‬humans rather than the other way around‭.‬

Short CV‭: ‬Dr‭. ‬David Faitelson‭ ‬received his B.Sc in Computer Science and Mathematics from Tel Aviv university(1995‭), ‬and his M.Sc‭ (‬2004‭) ‬and Ph.D‭ (‬2008‭) ‬in Software Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Oxford‭. ‬Prior to his academic career‭, ‬David has spent 10‭ ‬years as‭ ‬a software engineer and consultant‭. ‬In 2007‭ ‬David was a post-doc researcher at the Computer Science department of the Technion‭.‬‭ ‬Currently‭, ‬David is a senior lecturer at the Afeka Academic College of Engineering‭, ‬and studying for an M‭. ‬Integrated Design at‭ ‬the Holon Institute for Technology‭. ‬David’s research interests include the application of formal mathematics to the construction of correct software‭, ‬computational biomimicry‭, ‬parallel programming languages‭, ‬and the design of intelligent robots‭.‬