Enthusiasts and skeptics debate artificial intelligence

November 26, 2014

I met with Ray Kurzweil, in the process of packing up for Silicon Valley, to begin his new job as Google’s director of engineering — leading a research team to create AI software that can converse in fully human fashion.

I asked if he took the job because Google will be the most powerful entity as we transition toward the singularity, Kurzweil said it “would be somewhat self serving to say that Google will be the best,” but yeah. For years he’d had conversations with Larry Page, whom he calls “a fan,” telling him he wanted to “re-create the kind of intelligence that humans have” and hitch it to super big data. “And Page said, “Well, why don’t you do it here in Google?” […]