This story is intriguing on so many levels, but what struck me most was how people get so mad when something computer generated makes them feel emotional. Humans can make other humans feel things, but when machines do it, it’s creepy. I also think it’s strange how scientists have no problem saying they can build a machine that will be able to have consciousness (a soul in Cope’s case), yet they usually scoff at the idea that plants or animals might be conscious. The insinuation being that man is going to make something more “alive” than anything Nature was able to output in the last, oh, 13.5 billion years. I can’t wait for that.
“Nobody’s original,” Cope says. “We are what we eat, and in music, we are what we hear. What we do is look through history and listen to music. Everybody copies from everybody. The skill is in how large a fragment you choose to copy and how elegantly you can put them together.”
In other words, humans are more robotic than machines. “The question,” Cope says, “isn’t whether computers have a soul, but whether humans have a soul.”
Bio: Christian Anthony is a multi-media artist, radio show personality and documentary filmmaker. His work has appeared in the Nevada Museum of Art, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and the Hearst Art Gallery. Currently, he hosts a radio program called The Amateur’s Guide To Life, illustrates children books and writes bad science fiction. He lives in Point Reyes, CA.