January 9, 2002|
Kurzweil ready to bet on Artificial Intelligence
Will Artificial Intelligences ever be able to pass the Turing Test? Some believe they will. Raymond Kurzweil has engaged in a bet with Mitchell Kapor that a digital program will successfully pass the Test by year 2029.
Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and AI-guru, strongly believe he will win: "A careful analysis of the requisite trends shows that we will understand the principles of operation of the human brain and be in a position to recreate its powers in synthetic substrates well within thirty years. The brain is self-organizing, which means that it is created with relatively little innate knowledge. Most of its complexity comes from its own interaction with a complex world. Thus it will be necessary to provide an artificial intelligence with an education just as we do with a natural intelligence. But here the powers of machine intelligence can be brought to bear. Once we are able to master a process in a machine, it can perform its operations at a much faster speed than biological systems. As I mentioned, contemporary electronics is already more than ten million times faster than the human nervous system's electrochemical information processing. Once an AI masters human basic language skills, it will be in a position to expand its language skills and general knowledge by rapidly reading all human literature and by absorbing the knowledge contained on millions of web sites."
Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Corporation and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will win if a computer is not able to pass the Turing Test prior to the end of the year 2029.
The Turing Test consists of human judges discussing - using terminals with instant messaging - with artificial intelligences (computers) and humans, both trying to convince them of their humanness. If a computer cannot be identified as such, it has passed the Test.
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