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The fundamental differences between human and artificial intelligence

Federico Faggin

The recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI), with suggestions that AI will soon surpass human intelligence (HI), is bringing into the foreground the necessity of understanding the crucial differences between HI and AI, which the author thinks is consciousness. The impossibility to explain the existence of consciousness based on materialistic assumptions, requires us to consider the possibility that consciousness may be an irreducible property of nature, even more fundamental than the electric charge or the spin in quantum physics.
If we start with this assumption, the nature of reality and the nature of the observer described by physics must change in a fundamental way because consciousness must be present in the quantum fields of which all physical reality is made. Living organisms, which are the only known physical structures hosting consciousness, must then be quantum systems of a kind not yet understood.
The author will describe a model of reality in which the nature of information is fundamentally different than the Shannon information that describes computers and communication systems. In this model, classical computers cannot become conscious no matter how complex, even though they are made of quantum fields that are conscious.