Today’s AI research is highly successful in automating statistics. It becomes increasingly similar to intelligence, when we understand it as the ability to create models. But how can machines become sentient, and make sense of themselves, and their relationship to the world? This question relates to how our own minds work, and how we can make sense of our own nature. Beyond giving us more powerful and autonomous tools, AI may well turn out the most productive perspective on what it means to be a mind.