Some computer scientists believe the singularity at which artificial intelligence (AI) can match and overtake human intelligence could take place in only 16 years.
Although some futurists take an optimistic view that machines will help humans overcome physical limitations, others foresee a dire scenario in which AI takes over human abilities and people are absorbed into AI-based organisms.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that by 2029 computers will be as smart as humans, and that by 2045 "computers will be billions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence."
Holding a more conservative view, New York University computer scientist Ernest Davis believes AI is far from overtaking human intelligence. He notes that although AI can outperform humans at specialized tasks such as a game of chess, the average seven-year-old far surpasses AI in terms of common sense, vision, language, and intuition.
The most recent singularity occurred with the Industrial Revolution and resulted in economic productivity doubling every 15 years, and before that the Agricultural Revolution led to a doubling every 1,000 years, notes George Mason University economist Robin Hanson. The next singularity when AI matches human intelligence will cause the economy to double every week or month, Hanson predicts.
From LiveScience (NY)
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