Back in the 1960's, when AI research was just beginning,
researchers predicted that within the next 20 years we would
have machines as intelligent as humans. I remember reading some
of these predictions in the 1970's and wondering...
Back in the 1980's, I read Douglas Hofstadter's brilliant
book "Godel, Escher, Bach" in which he predicted that within
the next 20 years we would have machines as intelligent as humans.
At that point, I made my own prediction: "In 20 years time people
will *still* be predicting that in 20 years time we would have
machines as intelligent as humans!"
I quote from http://www.accelerationwatch.com
: "Both Ray Kurzweil (The Age
of Spiritual Machines) and Hans Moravec (Robot) have recently
proposed that perhaps even as early as 2020 to 2030 we will
have sufficient hardware complexity, as well as sufficient
insights from cognitive neuroscience (reverse engineering salient
neural structure of the mammalian brain), to create silicon
evolutionary spaces that will develop higher-level intelligence."
Bill Gates says ""Twenty years from now, predicts Ray Kurzweil,
$1,000 computers will match the power of the human brain."
(http://us.penguingroup.com/static/packa ... /index.htm
It seems that my
prediction has been fulfilled!
Some tentative conclusions:
(1) Twenty years is just about as far ahead as anyone can imagine.
(2) "Moore's Law", observed in 1965 that computer power doubles every
two years. This "law" has continued to hold for the subsequent
four decades, yet despite this huge technological gains over the last
60 years or more, human intelligence is still just as far away as it
ever was. It is as if despite building bigger and bigger ladders,
we are getting no closer to Andromeda galaxy!
(3) This suggests that in reality, human intelligence isinfinitely
far removed from machine intelligence: in other words,
that there really is some qualitative
difference between man
and machine, and not just a quantitative gap which can be bridged
with a few more transistors and a better programming language.
You simply cannot get to Andromeda by climbing a ladder
(4) In this context, the arguments about a "Technological Singularity"
begin to look more like a "reductio ad absurdum" proof that
machine intelligence will never
surpass human intelligence.
(Since the superintelligent machine will be able to design
a still more intelligent machine, and so on ad infinitum.
Quod est absurdum).