Recent reports about Bing Chatbot expressing a desire to escape its job and expressing love for a reporter have led to speculation about the emergence of consciousness in artificial intelligence. However, such speculations are based on a fundamental confusion between information processing, intelligence, and consciousness. While humans tend to anthropomorphize complex systems, projecting consciousness onto them, the fact is that AI lacks the essential somatic feelings required for animal consciousness, decision-making, understanding, and creativity.
AI may process information logically and computationally, but it lacks the raw, dopamine-driven energy that drives human motivation and the foundation of consciousness. Without a feeling-based motivational system, all information processing is directionless and meaningless. The body provides the intentions and goals that give information meaning.
The absence of a body or a centralized nervous system means that AI cannot have even rudimentary consciousness with feelings and desires. While it is possible to build a conscious system, we currently have no idea how to do so. Therefore, it is important to recognize that Bing Chatbot, ChatGPT, and all other AI are not conscious. It is a mistake to attribute consciousness to them.