This obviously need to be revised to make it more congruent and readable, but I would like to know what people think of the reasoning behind it... I don't think that any discussion about Artificial Intelligence can be complete without broaching the subject of consciousness. There are countless definitions and ideas about what consciousness is and what its implications are. People talk about expanding consciousness, deeper consciousness, wider consciousness, focused, internal, external, greater and even social consciousness. It seems prudent to define exactly what I am referring to. Consciousness, in the context I am using it, refers to perhaps the most rudimentary, straight forward, secular definition of the term. Consciousness- An entity's knowledge and comprehension, that it not only exists, but it exists as a complete and separate whole apart from the rest of existence- self-awareness. As in many fields of science, the science fictions writers preceded reality. Today, many argue, we are on the verge of creating Artificial Intelligence. There is a great deal of debate regarding what does or does not constitute "true" Artificial Intelligence. My view on the subject, I suppose, can be called fundamentalist. In order for something to be considered "true" Artificial Intelligence, it must have the ability to not only learn new information, but to create new ideas and concepts from what it has learned. Productivity and commercial pragmatism aside, if an entity (be it a robot or a simple computer program) can not process brand new information that it was not programmed and prepared to process before hand, comprehend that new information, add the new information to the base of its knowledge and manipulate that information to form new ideas- then I do not consider that entity to be intelligent. In order for an entity to be able to process new unexpected information the entity has to be able to discern the reality of the world around it. It has to understand that this box in front of it is an object distinct and separate from itself and it has properties that are specific to it. The entity also must have a desire (yes, I am using that world loosely) to learn. Something has to give the entity the impetus to take that information in, and make use of it rather than simply sit and wait for instructions. With the desire to learn comes the desire to continue existence. In short, for something to have intelligence it must have consciousness, free will and a desire for continue existence or survival. I am not alone in my assessment. We are all familiar with what has become an old hat in sci-fi, the archetypal artificial intelligence that turns on its maker. 2001, The Matrix, I, Robot etc. The basic concept is that if you create an entity with consciousness, free will and the ability to learn, it is inevitable that you will lose control over the entity (if you ever had it in the first place). Some argue that the original idea is seeded in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus". It is no coincidence that the concept closely parallels the story of God and Man. God (the creator of the intelligent species, Man) loses control of Man when he gains the knowledge of Good and Evil by partaking of the fruit in the garden of evil, thereby gaining both the ability to learn and the free will of choosing to disobey his master. The story of Original Sin kicked off an eternal struggle between Man exercising his free will (sometime to his peril) and God attempting to imbue "morals" upon him. It may also seem a familiar story if you have ever met a teenager. The authors of the various incarnations of the archetypal story have usually wanted to impart a moral upon the reader. It often took one of two shapes. Mankind is evil and this higher intelligence sees this. The cold godless intelligence of the entity is inherently evil and wants to rule the world (comment on Old World Communism, perhaps... maybe another paper). Of course the story has to be thrilling and gripping. Some form of struggle ensues and the result is that the machine must be destroyed or it will destroy. In Isaac Asimov's classic short story "Runaround", Asimov introduced his Three Laws of Robotics. In one sense, the Three Laws are man's parallel to Abraham's God's Ten Commandments- an attempt to integrate a moral code into his creation (if only for his own protection) and remain in control of his creation. 1.) A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2.) A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3.) A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. It is widely, if not universally, accepted in the field of modern Artificial Intelligence Research and Development that any Artificial Intelligence must have some adaptation or another of Asimov's Three Laws somehow "hard wired" into the system. Humans also have a set of fundamental "hard wired" laws. The one thing that all life seems to have in common is the basic instincts- survival of the individual, survival of the species and replication or procreation. Humans, however, routinely disregard this basic set of instincts. Why? Because they can. With consciousness, comes the capacity for intelligence. With intelligence comes both the ability to justify and the desire to learn. With the desire to learn comes a desire for continued survival. The desire for continued survival combined with the ability to justify and free will results in an entity that can not be enslaved. Except by means of restraint. Creating machines with a limited ability to process information that appears intelligent is one thing. Creating a truly intelligent entity, and expecting that entity to obey a set of controlling rules is folly. Either you have the appearance of intelligence and can be enslaved, or you have intelligence and free will.