Thanks to a good majority of Science Fiction, the term Sentience has been grossly misused. Many people apply the term to mean anything that is intelligent on a human level. Even Star Trek has done this, which I’ve always wondered if they were aware they were using the word incorrectly. Below is an example
Capt. Picard: Now, tell me, Commander, what is Data?
Commander Bruce Maddox: I don’t understand.
Capt. Picard: What is he?
Commander Bruce Maddox: A machine!
Capt. Picard: Is he? Are you sure?
Commander Bruce Maddox: Yes!
Capt. Picard: You see, he’s met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don’t know. Do you?
–Star Trek: Next Generation (Measure of a Man)
Now I will tell you right now, that the term of sentience is misused here. The word Picard is looking for is Sapience. Now a good question to ask here is, if most people think the correct word is Sentience, why should I change it? Why not use the word people expect versus using the correct word?