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When will the Internet achieve consciousness?

I’m talking Skynet/Matrix-type consciousness where the collective computing power of the Internet obtains concsiousness of itself, can reason while accessing it’s database of all human knowledge and can offer solutions to any questions asked of it at a level equaling or exceeding human capability.


  1. You imply it already hasn’t…
    Seriously, while the internet is indeed vast, it is not one single computer. It is a network of millions of independent computers. So while the neural complexity of the internet is vast, it is not quite as interconnected as most people assume. The collective computing power of the internet is like the collective pulling power of all the cars in the world. Immense, but too disjoint to do anything useful.
    But still fun to think about.

  2. It won’t unless it’s programmed to do so. Look at all the information that’s out there right now: it hasn’t helped it any yet. The Internet doesn’t know how to use the information in any intelligent fashion. Right now, it’s more or less a telecommunications platform.

  3. If you mean consciousness in terms of a “soul”, an entity actually feeling rather than merely immediately reacting on inputs, it’s hard to say when and if that can and will happen – given that consciousness, to my knowledge, is far from scientifically explained at this point.
    If, on the other hand, you mean “intelligence”, the ability to draw conclusions and make decisions based only on loose preceding programming, all it takes is a breakthrough in artificial intelligence – or the extremely unlikely event of intelligence randomly occurring… Something which, according to the theory of evolution, took nature 3.8 billion years.


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