Susan Schneider's Proposed Tests for AI Consciousness: Promising but Flawed

David Billy Udell and Eric Schwitzgebel

forthcoming in Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Susan Schneider (2019) has proposed two new tests for consciousness in AI (artificial intelligence) systems, the AI Consciousness Test and the Chip Test. On their face, the two tests seem to have the virtue of proving satisfactory to a wide range of consciousness theorists holding divergent theoretical positions, rather than narrowly relying on the truth of any particular theory of consciousness. Unfortunately, both tests are undermined in having an ‘audience problem’: Those theorists with the kind of architectural worries that motivate the need for such tests should, on similar grounds, doubt that the tests establish the existence of genuine consciousness in the AI in question. Nonetheless, the proposed tests constitute progress, as they could find use by some theorists holding fitting views about consciousness and perhaps in conjunction with other tests for AI consciousness.

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