This chapter looks at the progress that scientists have made so far in making machines that think, perceive, learn, use language, and that have the notion of self. It discusses the development of artificial intelligence, the cognitive self, and the societal self. It argues that to give a scientific account of the self, at least as concerns the cognitive and social aspects, no magical, as yet unknown mechanism is likely to be needed. Making machines with cognitive and social selves is a task that may still take years to achieve, but it seems clear that once we have machines with sufficient cognitive capacities that are embedded in the real world and integrated into a social system, a notion similar to the “I” that humans use to refer to themselves is likely to become so useful that it is “real”.
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