Intelligence, Consciousness, and Life

Warning: This post is just me rambling.

Whenever I talk about my research sometimes the topic meanders to Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, two questions come up; (1) are these machines really thinking? And (2) will machines become as intelligent as people? It seems that people conflate three things in these discussions: Intelligence, Consciousness and Life.

Because us humans are Intelligent, Conscious and Alive, we often think of them as one property -- being Human. So when we say something is Intelligent, we automatically assume it also means that we are saying that something is Conscious and Alive. Thus, when we talk about Artificial Intelligence, sometimes this is confused with Artificial Consciousness and Artificial Life. And this is on top of the usual confusion with respect to Intelligence, Consciousness and Life.