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Computers to match humans brains soon

February 22, 2008 08:49 IST
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Move over humans. Computers will supercede you in 2035, says a report published in The Independent.

That day is not too far when artificial intellignce could be on a par with human intellect by the 2020s, said American computer guru Ray Kurzweil.

The term 'artificial intelligence' dates back to classical times, though it had a different epithet then. The Greek myths of Hephaestus and Pygmalion do mention intelligent machines that can take on human form. Humans named them robots.

According to the report, Kurzweil feels machines will soon be able to solve toughest of problems that seem insurmountable to humans.

Kurzweil is a pioneer in various fields of computing, such as optical character recognition -- the technology behind CDs -- and automatic speech recognition by machines.

Computers, says the report, consist of two-dimensional chips made from silicon. But work is on so that three-dimensional chips with improved performances can easily be made.

"Three-dimensional, molecular computing will provide the hardware for human-level 'strong artificial intelligence' by the 2020s. The more important software insights will be gained in part from the reverse engineering of the human brain, a process well under way. Already, two dozen regions of the human brain have been modelled and simulated," Kurzweil said.

He  is one of several computer scientists who foresee a 'post-human' world where a second, intelligent entity will walk in tandem with humans.

The term 'artificial intelligence' was coined by the computer scientist John McCarthy in 1956, and the concept has been explored and experimented by various computer scientists over the years.

Such experiments inspired science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke to pen 2001: A Space Odyssey that featured a superbly intelligent computer called HAL.

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