From: The Wall Street Journal

What a Child Can Teach a Smart Computer

The Wall Street Journal:

Every January the intellectual impresario and literary agent John Brockman (who represents me, I should disclose) asks a large group of thinkers a single question on his website, edge.org. This year it is: “What do you think about machines that think?” There are lots of interesting answers, ranging from the skeptical to the apocalyptic.

I’m not sure that asking whether machines can think is the right question, though. As someone once said, it’s like asking whether submarines can swim. But we can ask whether machines can learn, and especially, whether they can learn as well as 3-year-olds.

Everyone knows that Alan Turing helped to invent the very idea of computation. Almost no one remembers that he also thought that the key to intelligence would be to design a machine that was like a child, not an adult. He pointed out, presciently, that the real secret to human intelligence is our ability to learn.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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