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Jane Lake and Artificial Intelligence

Supercomputers are now being built that will process 500 trillion calculations per second. The human brain processes around 100 trillion per second. It is a logical conclusion that computers will be smarter than humans once programmed properly.

Will innovations and inventions be computer generated? Will computers develop personalities? And of course, the ultimate question in sci-fi, will computers try to take over?

Without emotions, boredom, and fatigue, computers will "live" 24/7, and do what no human has ever been able to do for any extended period of time...FOCUS!

I think on some level, they have the potential to become humanoid. Even logical reasoning will lead to abstract questions about existence and why we are here. Perhaps without the clutter of the human body and its imperfect workings, they will be able to come up with the answer.

The answer is 42. What is important is the question.



Douglas Adams is funny, I admit, but does he have the answer, I don't think so.

Especially since I prefer 22.

Jane Lake... you are so intelligent. We need to have a good conversation sometime! Please, please, please email me so we can discuss various topics that are plaguing my mind.

- Xander

As a software developer, I'm a bit skeptical about comparing "flops" (meaning the simplest possible calculation, a typical measure of effective processing speed) between a computer and the human brain. There's no question that a computer can be built that's very big and very fast; but that alone isn't sufficient to build a true artificial intelligence. A brain - particularly a human brain - stores information in a highly complex, non-linear way; our reasoning and feeling capabilities are a result of the hugely complex structure of our brains, not of their speed.

Only once someone writes software that can emulate brain-type structure will a computer - maybe! - be able to be intelligent in a sense we would recognize. This is possible, I suppose; but since computers are fast but simple, it'll be a lot of work to create true AI. I don't think this new computer is going to be ready to take my job - much less steal the affections of my wife, my kids, or my dog - any time soon.

I think Don is onto something, but I would expand further...

It is not only the speed 'intelligence' of supercomputers, it is also the ability to interact with the world. I.E. no matter how smart, until computers have sensory 'organs' and primary interfaces with external stimuli, they will just be dumb machines. Now, if we do build them with dynamic, extensive, and complex interactive components, then who knows. (The one 'conscious' computer in fiction that I find most inspiring has to be 'Mike' from Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Sci fi fans, if you haven't read this one... DO)


You might enjoy pondering the riddles posed by Steven Pinker on the nature of consciousness (or “sentience,” as he calls it) on pages 145-148 of How the Mind Works.

I second Terra Praeta's comment. In order for a computer to be comparable to a human, it first has to be comparable to a living thing. Computational speed is nothing. I think the best AI research will come up with is a severely autistic robot.

Jane, Jane, Jane. You are all too sly posting on CL for "friends" who can help you drive people to your blog. Now, I must say your artificial intelligence post lacks intelligence. You aren't even close and neither will any computer similar of today's capabilities. It will take an organic computer to learn, reason and grow into any type of intelligence. Since that is a pipe dream today, so is your premise. I know. I used to design the computers you posted on your site. Now come visit my site.

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