As the race to human-level AI accelerates, researchers are increasingly confronted with the question of what it would mean to develop conscious AI. Will sentience emerge naturally from powerfully intelligent artificial systems? Or is consciousness incompatible with disembodied AI? As some human users become more attached to romantic chatbots, will the moral questions surrounding conscious AI become more pressing? In the final episode of our series on artificial general intelligence, the FT’s John Thornhill and Madhumita Murgia speak to Eugenia Kuyda, founder and chief executive of Replika, Anil Seth, professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex, and Henry Shevlin, director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge.

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Blake Lemoine transcript

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Tech Tonic is presented by Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill. Senior producer is Edwin Lane and the producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.

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