It sounds like a movie tagline: In 2029, machines will become indistinguishable from humans.But that is exactly what Ray Kurzweil, the man who invented text-to-speech synthesizers and pioneered optical character recognition programs, told the Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray at the paper’s annual CFO Conference last week.
“The rate at which [machines can perform the same tasks as humans] is getting better every year.”
The process by which human brains recognise language can actually be replicated mechanically, Kurzweil said.
“We are learning how these modules work, how they wire themselves. The technique that we have evolved in the field of artificial intelligence is mathematically equivalent to what the brain is doing.”
“Watson,” the computer who beat up everyone on Jeopardy, was just the start, Kurzweil said.
“If you have a system that is as intelligent as a human and really is convincing in its emotional responses and can make us laugh and cry—and that’s what I’m saying will happen by 2029—then my belief is, it is conscious. And it’ll get mad at us if we don’t believe it’s conscious, and we wouldn’t want that to happen because they’ll be very smart.”
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