When will computers match the human brain? Kurzweil vs. Myers

August 19, 2010

10 years? 20 years? 100 years? Never? There are about as many predictions for when artificial intelligence will match human intellect as there are AI researchers.

More, really, when you figure in all the people who simply read about AI research and decide to make their own decisions (I’m in that boat myself). Processing power has been increasing exponentially for years, and few doubt that it will continue to do so for at least a few years longer. There are already plans underway to develop supercomputers that perform at least as many flops as the human brain in the next three years. But calculations are not thoughts and 10^16 calculations per second is not a recipe for cognition.

So the questions remains, will we be able to use this processing power to accurately model the brain and create an artificial intelligence based upon that model? Futurists like Ray Kurweil say yes, but detractors like PZ Myers have a litany of reasons why the task is unreachable in the near future. Recently this debate has gotten a little ugly. […]