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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, Insightful) by HiThere on Monday February 24 2014, @08:38PM

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 24 2014, @08:38PM (#6150) Journal

    Well, it depends on how you measure it. He's often been wrong in the details, and he's often been wrong in the time required (in both directions). OTOH, he's generally been in the right ballpark. So if he says by 2029, I'd say not before 2020, and yes before 2050, unless there are severe external a giant meteor impact, a volcanic "year without a summer", worldwide civil unrest, etc.

    P.S.: Where the unreasonable optimism comes in is that he assumes this will be a good thing. I give the odds of that as at most 1 in 3. OTOH, if computers DON'T take over, I give the odds of humanity surviving the century as less than 1 in 20. We've already had several close calls, and the number of players has been increasing.

    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
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