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Artificial Intelligence: A question for the philosophers

Thundercrack85

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I was reading about the Turing test and the Chinese room (the latter can hurt your brain), and I was wondering, since, no doubt many users on here are science fiction fans, what they considered artificial intelligence to be.

Specifically, can machines (computers / robots) have sentience? Or in laymen's terms, can they have minds of their own?

Is there a distinction between simulating a mind and actually having a mind?

For those who have no idea what either is,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test
 

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