Photo of Ray Kurzweil presenting at Google I/O 2014Signe Brewster of Gigaom recently wrote, “In 2012, Google hired Ray Kurzweil to build a computer capable of thinking as powerfully as a human. It would require at least one hundred trillion calculations per second — a feat already accomplished by the fastest supercomputers in existence. The more difficult challenge is creating a computer that has a hierarchy similar to the human brain. At the Google I/O conference Wednesday, Kurzweil described how the brain is made up of a series of increasingly more abstract parts. The most abstract — which allows us to judge if something is good or bad, intelligent or unintelligent — is an area that has been difficult to replicate with a computer. A computer can calculate 10 x 20 or tell the difference between a person and a table, but it can’t judge if a person is kind or mean. To get there, humans will need to build computers that can build abstract consciousness from a more concrete level. Humans will program them to recognize patterns, and then from those patterns they will need to be smart enough to learn to understand more.”

The author continued, “People have a tendency to dismiss using artificial intelligence for specific applications like speech recognition, Kurzweil said, but he believes each new application is a part of the greater effort to develop AI.“I like the idea of crossing the river one stone to the next,” Kurzweil said. “We do get from here to there one step at a time.”

 

Read more here and watch the full interview, “Biologically inspired models of intelligence” from Google I/O 2014 here:

To explore some of these issues in deeper depth, check out the inaugural Cognitive Computing Forum. Registration is now open.

Photo courtesy: flickr/eschipul