In 1965, Herbert Simon, who would later be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics and the Turing Award (the“Nobel Prize of computing”), predicted that “machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work a man can do.” In 1970, Marvin Minsky, who also received a Turing Award, predicted that, “In from three to eight years we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being.” It has now been more than 50 years and we are still waiting—and the promises keep coming.
In 2008, Shane Legg, a cofounder of Deepmind, predicted that, “Human level AI will be passed in the mid 2020’s.”In 2014, celebrity futurologist Ray Kurzweil predicted that, by 2029, computers will have all of the intellectual and emotional capabilities of humans, including “the ability to tell a joke, to be funny, to be romantic, to be loving, to be sexy.” In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, said that, “One of our goals for the next five to 10 years is to basically get better than human level at all of the primary human senses: vision, hearing, language, general cognition.”
Since the very beginning of the computer revolution, researchers have dreamed of creating computers that would surpass the human brain. Our brains use inputs to generate outputs and so do computers. How hard could it be to build computers as powerful as our brains?
It has turned out to be exceedingly difficult.
How do we know when computers are as intelligent as humans? The Turing test is often suggested, but is deeply flawed. I offer the Smith test as an alternative.