We used to refer to consciousness as ‘the C-word’ in robotics and AI circles because we’re not allowed to touch that topic,” he said. “It’s too fluffy, nobody knows what it means, and we’re serious people so we’re not going to do that. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s almost one of the big unanswered questions, on par with the origin of life and origin of the universe. What is sentience, creativity? What are emotions? We want to understand what it means to be human, but we also want to understand what it takes to create these things artificially. It’s time to address these questions head-on and not be shy about it.
Quoted by John Pavlus in Curious About Consciousness? Ask the Self-Aware Machine. Quanta Magazine. July 11, 2019.