For one could easily conceive of a machine that is made in such a way that it utters words, and even that it would utter some words in response to physical actions that cause a change in its organs—for example, if someone touched it in a particular place, it would ask what one wishes to say to it, or if it were touched somewhere else, it would cry out that it was being hurt, and so on. But it could not arrange words in different ways to reply to the meaning of everything that is said in its presence, as even the most unintelligent human beings can do.
While it is possible to imagine a machine obtaining a perfect score on the SAT or winning Jeopardy–since these rely on retained facts and the ability to recall them–it seems far less possible that a machine can weave things together in new ways or to have true imagination in a way that matches everything people can do, especially if we have a full appreciation of the creativity people are capable of.
Quoting those pessimistic visions for the possibility of thinking machines, what is your stand today? Are humans somehow privileged in ways no artifact will ever be able to accomplish?
Hi Gilad, Into the Deep Blue Yonder (click the Descartes link above) still represents my own views on this matter.