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Zhang Weighs in on Whether or Not Self-Driving Cars Can Become Sentient in Inverse Article

November 18, 2022


Baobao Zhang

Baobao Zhang

There might not be any sentient cars on the market today, like the one portrayed in the 1980s series "Knight Rider," but could self-driving AI eventually gain sentience?

“I think it's possible for AI systems not to be sentient, or at least not to the degree that humans are, and still be able to communicate with unique personalities,” says Baobao Zhang, assistant professor of political science and senior research associate in the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute.

Text chatbots are already remarkably good at communicating with humans in many situations, and as text-to-speech AI technology takes off, AI may sound less robotic and more like humans. Zhang says instead of focusing on whether AI are sentient or not, we “also need to consider their ability to influence or manipulate humans regardless of whether they are sentient or not.”

Read more in the Inverse article, "The Best Retro Sci-Fi on Netflix Reveals a Worrying Scientific Debate."

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