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So, where do you stand on this?How long does it take you to add 3,456,732 and 2,245,678? Ten seconds? Not bad--for a human. The average new PC can perform the calculation in 0.000000018 second. How about your memory? Can you remember a shopping list of 10 items? Maybe 20? Compare that with 125 million items for the PC.
On the other hand, computers are stumped by faces, which people recognize instantly. Machines lack the creativity for novel ideas and have no feelings and no fond memories of their youth. But recent technological advances are narrowing the gap between human brains and circuitry. At Stanford University, bioengineers are replicating the complicated parallel processing of neural networks on microchips. Another development--a robot named Darwin VII--has a camera and a set of metal jaws so that it can interact with its environment and learn, the way juvenile animals do. Researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, Calif., modeled Darwin's brain on rat and ape brains.
The developments raise a natural question: If computer processing eventually apes nature's neural networks, will cold silicon ever be truly able to think? And how will we judge whether it does? More than 50 years ago British mathematician and philosopher Alan Turing invented an ingenious strategy to address this question, and the pursuit of this strategy has taught science a great deal about designing artificial intelligence, a field now known as AI. At the same time, it has shed some light on human cognition...
- link to full article
- link to some info on robot, Darwin VII