I suppose everything hinges around the definition of sentience…..what exactly is it?
Is a human sentient, what about a chimpanzee, a fish, a beetle a midge a targigrade, a bacteria a plant? Where does sentience end and just being alive begin.
What does a “sentient” AI do when it has no input, do you need a body to have sentience?
From when I was very young (about 15) I puzzled on this and used to lay in my bed at night thinking about how, could a human transfer consciousness, sentience if you like into a machine. Computers were primitive, but improving, an artificial neurone could be built for sure and linked together just like a human brain (one day). We could even have intelligent electronics that could make an break links between those artificial neurones.
Then we have the biolectronic interface, something I felt again was possible.
We get those two bits sorted out and implant into the brain, additional artificial neurones, to allow the brain to use them as part of the thought process, could we gradually add more of those circuits into/beside the brain, and could we use them to use the hardware in our daily thoughts, calculations, memory storage. Would we be aware that we were accessing data, memories, thoughts from those circuits as opposed to the wetware?
Gradually offloading more and more activity into the artificial components, would eventually our sense of self and sentience transfer. Is this the route to immortality, would we still sleep, or dream, or would we lose ourself?