Consciousness.... In Robots?
Human beings are defined by our consciousness, that is, our ability to be aware our our self and our surrounding. We perceive our world beyond any other creature, drawing conclusions and understanding things far beyond a surface level. In our mind, this ability makes us unlike. But this "unique" ability may indeed be the future of machines as well. This may sound like something out of a Hollywood action film, and indeed it has been popularized by it, but advances have been made to insert consciousness, albeit artificial consciousness into robots in a field know as cognitive robotics. Through this scientist have been able to create robots that learn by example and use their senses and knowledge of the earth's structure to figure things our on their own. They hope to further robots' reasoning, planning, decision-making and perception of their surroundings. See this article on recent advances in cognitive robotics.
While the technology is fascinating there is some question about the morals of this endeavor. Are we imitating or giving away the very thing that makes us unique? Could this move machines beyond our control as popularized in the popular film I, Robot? At this stage anything is possible.