Dreams of Ultimate Freedom
While we are inescapably embodied and part of nature, collectively we have always aspired to be disembodied spirits, angels, free of natural bounds. The possibility of post-human or artificial life is merely the latest version of an ancient dream. This dream is false, however, because even robots are physical creatures, causally connected to their environments. If there are to be truly intelligent machines, they will, in effect, be organisms with a life of their own and with their own connections to the environing world. Intelligence, natural or artificial, derives from the connections entailed by embodiment and can never completely divest itself from this reference, nor from material form.
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