Ronald Brak

Because not everyone can be normal.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Will Computers One Day Be As Dumb As Humans?

I don’t think it will be too difficult to develop strong AI. That is, artificial intelligence that can do many things that human intelligence can do, but isn't necessarily the same as human intelligence.  But this is not because I am confident we will continue to make technological break throughs, it’s more because I don’t think humans are as intelligent as many of us think we are. Some people see the absurd difficulty we have in trying to make a robot do something like fold clothes and assume if we can’t even get it to do that properly we must be a vast distance from making a machine that can discuss Shakespeare. But for the human brain, folding clothes and discussing Shakespeare are roughly comparable in difficulty. (Personally I find folding clothes more difficult. It’s much harder to fake being good at folding clothes than it is to fake being good at Shakespeare.) Currently computers are lousy at understanding normal speech, but they are definitely improving. And once they can understand normal speech, well that’s it, that’s strong AI. There is nothing else that needs to be done. And it doesn’t matter how it does it, whether it is “cheating” or not. Animal brains cheat all the time. So will an improved version of Siri or Watson be strong AI? Yeah, it will. Of course, there will be no end of people who will say it isn’t, and many will even point out that their mobile phones agree with them.

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