Banbury Bound, or Can a machine be conscious?

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In mid-May of 2001, I attended a fascinating workshop at Cold Spring Harbor Labs. The conference was held at the lab's Banbury Center, an elegant mansion and its beautiful surrounding estate, located on Banbury Lane, in the outskirts of Lloyd Harbor, overlooking the north shore of Long Island in New York. The estate was formerly owned by Charles Sammis Robertson. In 1976, Robertson donated his estate, and an endowment for its upkeep, to the Lab. The donation included the Robertson's mansion, now called Robertson House, and a large, seven-car garage that would become the actual conference center. The Center was opened on Sunday, June 14, 1977, by Francis Crick who gave a talk entitled "How Scientists Work." For us, Banbury was an idyllic location with great food where we could talk about the most difficult problem in all o f science: what is the nature and cause of consciousness?
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