Companies and journalists both contribute to the confusion
Not just that, the technical terms too add to the confusion. Deep learning, neural networks etc. seem to hint at something so human or brain-like, it primes you for anthropomorphising.
I have a friend who keeps talking about how the human brain is just neurons in the state of 0 or 1, and therefore how it's just a matter of time before AI starts learning and encoding "everything" in its 0 and 1 brain.
I don't know if this is how it actually is, but this simplistic 0 and 1 thinking seems off to me. Alas, my friend and I are just two dunderheads arguing about things we know little about. And the eerily neurosciencey terminology does not help at all.
Please check out https://betterimagesofai.org one the role of stock images of AI adding to this problem !
Is there a marketing/commercial aspect to the anthropomorphizing? Car commercials come to mind.
I'm working on https://syntheticusers.com/ and I believe this is exactly one of the use cases in which anthropomorphizing is a benefit, not an hindrance
Hard to say, given we understand so little about consciousness and the brain.
But, I'd hazard a guess that if it's possible, it's quite a ways off.