Comment: Yes, I agree with you here.

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In reply to comment: Its not called the 'hard' (see in situ)

Yes, I agree with you here.

Yes, I agree with you here. My point was more for specifically making an AI.

Anyway, yes, what he thinks might very well be the case. In regards to complexity, I have come to the conclusion myself that you absolutly need complex networks in order to have intelligence. There is not a single process that goes on that somehow grants sentience. So I do agree with your friend that its likely the aggregate processes that cause this. I will say that they very likely have to be cooridinated in some way though and that having a network with random tasks happening that are unrelated to each other likely wouldnt see this develop; unless spontaneous process started arising.
I honestly dont think we will see a true AI appear until network complexity reaches a certain level.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.