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People have a limited ability to observe their own mental processes. For many intellectual tasks introspection is irrelevant. However, it is at least relevant for evaluating how one is using one's own thinking time. Human-level AI will require introspective ability.

That robots also need introspection is argued and how to do it is discussed in [McCarthy, 1996].

John McCarthy
Sun Apr 19 15:21:34 PDT 1998