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Sometimes, a machine that imitates the behaviour of a conscious agent without itself being one. On this definition we ourselves are not automata, but the theory of how we differ from an automaton is not obvious (see mind-body problem, behaviourism, functionalism). More widely, any machine running according to a program may be thought of as an automaton, and the question whether that includes us is then open. See also Turing test.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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