Saturday, 20 August 2011

Computer Self Awareness

I find it difficult to believe that IBM's latest creation is going to take over the world. Like Skynet in  the Terminator movies. The latest device is called cognitive computing and is
claimed to be designed to learn for it self, to modify its structure to suit its own ends. In other  words awareness and constructive intelligence to boot.

Here are a few points that counteracts the almighty computer taking over the world theory.

1. Computers are nothing but an overgrown series of switches. Refer to my bloglist. There is an excellent description of a Transistors in action. This is also a computer is action. Making decisions based on pre-programmed data not through inspiration. This element drives people to create. Replicating this within a computer is something to be seen to be believed.

2.  Define imagination exactly? It is very difficult to copy something that is intangible like imagination. I would say close to impossible.Without this facet computers are missing a vital ingredient required for self development.

3. Organisation.
Throughout history people have lived through various forms of leadership from Tyranny to democratic freedom. Assuming a computer has this self awareness what exactly would it regard as an effective form of  leadership. Many point to tyranny as is shown by some popular culture. But how exactly. Computer humanoid Robots are essentially  very clumsy with skills restricted to a set of transistors that require programming  of words that humans find hard to define themselves. So the idea of leadership of its own accord is very very far away since leadership requires complex understanding.

4. The next time you regard computers as having progressed to a high level of  technological excellence call your telephone directory service and ask the friendly robot on the other end to help you. Most times it can't and it has to refer you to a real person that understands all the fine details of human interaction. When it does manage to help it is usually because it has been programmed to help those only with specific questions. And even then, if you have an accent or  a bad case of the flu it cannot deal with voice recognition effectively.

5. Ever had a problem with your computer? Crash, frozen. Computers are a temper mental instruments with very fine parts that require constant software updates and hardware rectification. The vision of a Terminator Robot is in the realm of science fiction and so far removed from modern technology that without a massive paradigm shift in thought, there will be none or very little in the way of self awareness in machines.

If you have managed to read this far without being turned off you will realise that I have some doubts regarding the development of computer self awareness. It remains to be seen however if this creation can do what is claimed.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/ibm-announces-brainy-computer-chip/

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