By Timo Jarvilehto
It seems that the unprecedented progress in the study of the brain and consciousness combined with the development of behavioral robotics and the study of artificial intelligence has during the last years produced many press releases which inform the public that the scientists are close to creating truly intelligent and conscious machines who can talk with their user and even grasp his feelings. Several researchers maintain that they are close to building of an artificial mind, and that it will take only perhaps a few decades until we can witness the advent of the first autonomous humanoid robots.
As a matter of fact, at the present, there are three fields of research which seem to have greatly advanced during the last years, and which share the optimism of quick solutions to many ancient practical and theoretical problems. These are genetics, neuroscience, and new kind of robotics or artificial intelligence. Almost daily new shocking findings are reported in all these fields. The determination of human genome, the mapping of the psychological functions in the brain, and the development of intelligent machines are claimed to have profound impact on everyday-life of human beings in the future.
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TIMO JARVILEHTO is professor of psychology in the University of Oulu, and has done work on neural coding, psychophysiology, EEG potentials and psychophysics.