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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 24 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the i-for-one-welcome-our-new-computer-overlords dept.

kef writes:

"By 2029, computers will be able to understand our language, learn from experience and outsmart even the most intelligent humans, according to Google's director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil says:

Computers are on the threshold of reading and understanding the semantic content of a language, but not quite at human levels. But since they can read a million times more material than humans they can make up for that with quantity. So IBM's Watson is a pretty weak reader on each page, but it read the 200m pages of Wikipedia. And basically what I'm doing at Google is to try to go beyond what Watson could do. To do it at Google scale. Which is to say to have the computer read tens of billions of pages. Watson doesn't understand the implications of what it's reading. It's doing a sort of pattern matching. It doesn't understand that if John sold his red Volvo to Mary that involves a transaction or possession and ownership being transferred. It doesn't understand that kind of information and so we are going to actually encode that, really try to teach it to understand the meaning of what these documents are saying.

Skynet anyone?"

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by omoc on Monday February 24 2014, @11:02AM

    by omoc (39) on Monday February 24 2014, @11:02AM (#5733)

    I would say he is very bad at predictions. I remember a book from the 90s (?) and IIRC all of his predictions for 2009 were either wrong or completely inaccurate. At a TED talk in 2005 (?) he said something like by 2010 computers will disappear and we have images directly written to our retina and everyone has full-immersion augmented virtual reality. I stopped paying attention to him but you can easily google these false predictions.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by webcommando on Monday February 24 2014, @01:55PM

    by webcommando (1995) on Monday February 24 2014, @01:55PM (#5799)

    "I stopped paying attention to him but you can easily google these false predictions."

    Honestly, I never pay much attention to self-proclaimed "futurists". They tend to suffer from something many engineers suffer from: overly optimistic estimates. Another thing I notice is they make big leaps in technology changes (e.g. twenty years or more in the future).

    I've always thought that the predictions would be more accurate if the "futurists" would look at incremental changes over time and really think about when the major changes would occur. What is possible in the next year or two. If these things came true, what would happen in the next year or two. Before you know it, you are many years in the future but have a more grounded (in my opinion, obviously) basis for your predictions.

    First SN post...glad to be here

    • (Score: 1) by ZombieBait on Monday February 24 2014, @07:43PM

      by ZombieBait (3100) on Monday February 24 2014, @07:43PM (#6099)

      This reminds me of the article about Isaac Asimov's predictions, mov-2014_n_4530785.html []. While some are wrong and some are a bit vague, he certainly seems to have thought through where technology was heading. I thought “Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.†was particularly appropriate for this story.