Can computers ever compete with human intelligence?
The rise of the computers has been something no-one 50 years ago could have possibly predicted.
Computers now control many parts of our lives, an email system crashing for a day would mean a loss of a working day for many companies, having huge side-effects for business and trading.
Quantum computing has long been touted as being one of those technologies that are 20 years away, and always will be. But 2017 could be the year that the field sheds its research-only image.
Whereas classical computers encode information as bits that can be in one of two states, 0 or 1, the ‘qubits’ that comprise quantum computers can be in ‘superpositions’ of both at once. This, together with qubits’ ability to share a quantum state called entanglement, should enable the computers to essentially perform many calculations at once. And the number of such calculations should, in principle, double for each additional qubit, leading to an exponential speed-up.
As computers are now faster than ever, it is time to ask the question – will robot intelligence ever equal that of the human?
In many ways, computers are far more intelligent than humans. Even the minuscule chips that run your mobile phone will have made more calculations today that you ever could if you sat down with a pen and paper, does this mean that the micro-chip is more intelligent than you are?
Human intelligence is less impressive and can do less maths problems per hour than your average calculator, but it can do different, more intricate calculations.
A human being can accurately pick up on an emotion from a fellow being by simply reading their facial expression. This simple act is something we do without realizing, but it displays a kind of intelligence that AI has not been able to compete with.
A robot can do vast maths problems but they have not been able to accurately read human feelings and emotions, the very things that make us human – yet.
This breakthrough puts IBM on the cutting edge of quantum computing research, as a 50-qubit machine is so far the largest and most powerful quantum computer ever built.
There are companies who specialize in making realistic robots – ones that can almost mimic a human. They have been programmed to react to your face and your speech, but they can never know how deep human emotions run, far deeper than any super-computer.
Stephen Hawking himself has even warned about the dangers of developing artificial intelligence for the benefit of humans.
“The development of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.