This is a very interesting interview with Stuart Russell. He gives a nice overview of AI and the major areas of research, with its emphasis on solving problems, not getting consciousness in machines.
I think the quotes below about what we know about consciousness and how it might look in machines are great.
SR: The biggest obstacle is we have absolutely no idea how the brain produces consciousness. It’s not even clear that if we did accidentally produce a sentient machine, we would even know it.
I used to say that if you gave me a trillion dollars to build a sentient or conscious machine I would give it back. I could not honestly say I knew how it works. When I read philosophy or neuroscience papers about consciousness, I don’t get the sense we’re any closer to understanding it than we were 50 years ago.
There is no scientific theory that could lead us from a detailed map of every single neuron in someone’s brain to telling us how that physical system would generate a conscious experience. We don’t even have the beginnings of a theory whose conclusion would be “such a system is conscious.”