A dog’s inner life: what a robot pet taught me about consciousness
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A dog’s inner life: what a robot pet taught me about consciousness

The creators of the Aibo robot dog say it has ‘real emotions and instinct’. This may seem over the top, but is it? In today’s AI universe, all the eternal questions have become engineering problems

The package arrived on a Thursday. I came home from a walk and found it sitting near the mailboxes in the front hall of my building, a box so large and imposing I was embarrassed to discover my name on the label. It took all my strength to drag it up the stairs.

I paused once on the landing, considered abandoning it there, then continued hauling it up to my apartment on the third floor, where I used my keys to cut it open. Inside the box, beneath lavish folds of bubble wrap, was a sleek plastic pod. I opened the clasp: inside, lying prone, was a small white dog.

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