What we are talking about here, isn't intelligence, but the cause of intelligence, which is awareness. We KNOW we can create machines that can solve problems. But are those machines actually aware? Do they actually know what they are doing? Or are they like sand falling from one's hands, which may make lovely patterns on the floor, and may move, but are dead, and cold, and devoid of any intelligence.

To put it another way, can a machine observe?

If we can create a machine that can do that, (not just record) then the rest of the AI is a piece of cake in comparison.