By 2029, computers will match human intelligence: Ray Kurzweil

August 13, 2013

What is ‘Artificial Intelligence’? Do you include human emotions in ‘intelligence’ or in ‘consciousness’?

Artificial Intelligence is the science of creating computers that can perform tasks that we associate with human intelligence. Our ability to understand and respond appropriately to high level emotions is the cutting edge of human intelligence and the most intelligent thing that we do.

Being funny or loving or sexy are very sophisticated behaviours. We want computers to have these capabilities also so that they can interact with us in helpful ways. Understanding emotion is key to understanding language and language is key to understanding knowledge.

How far have we progressed towards developing AI?

Recent progress has been impressive. IBM’s Watson computer is able to play the TV game of Jeopardy! which is a broad task involving complicated natural language queries which include puns, riddles, jokes and metaphors. For example, Watson got this query correct in the rhyme category: “a long tiresome speech delivered by a frothy pie topping.” It correctly responded “What is a meringue harangue.”

Watson got a higher score than the best two human players combined. Watson got its knowledge by reading Wikipedia and other encyclopedias , a total of 200 million pages of natural language documents.

Another good example is the self-driving car from Google . These cars have driven a half million miles without human drivers and accidents . You can also ask questions of your cellphone by using Apple’s SIRI or Google Now. We also have good models of how the human neocortex processes information and we can use these biologically inspired algorithms to build intelligent machines. That is what I am doing now at Google. […]