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The term ‘artificial intelligence’ was first used by Professor John McCarthy in 1956. However, the idea of creating ‘thinking machines’ appears over and over again throughout history. In the 3rd century ВС, a Chinese engineer called Mo Ti made mechanical birds, dragons and soldiers and much later, in 18th century Europe, the nobility were delighted by mechanical figures which moved by clockwork. It seemed that making machines that moved and looked like human beings was easy. The difficult part would be to create a machine that could think like a human being.

When computers appeared in the 1950s, many people thought that it would not be long before these impressive machines started talking, thinking for themselves and taking over the world. People predicted all kinds of things, from robot servants to computerized houses. None of it happened. Despite the billions of dollars and years of research given to developing artificial intelligence, computers are still unable to hold a normal conversation with a human being. In fact, although computers today can process information thousands of times faster than they could fifty years ago, they are only two or three times better at using human language than they were back then. In addition, the huge increase in computer use has proved that today’s computers, with their windows, mice, icons and commands, do not operate in the same way as the human brain. If this were not true, there would be no need for the thousands of tech support staff employed by call centres.

The trouble is that, even though computers can turn speech into text, recognise objects by using cameras, search through endless amounts of data and even use robot mechanisms to move like human beings, they are unable to put all these abilities together and actually think and function like human beings. One of the reasons for this is that scientists still do not know much about how the human brain works, so it is impossible to program computers to copy the brain’s processes. As for language, there is not much hope of computers ever being able to chat with human beings. Human language is complex and does not follow clear enough rules for computers to understand. A machine may be able to work out the grammar of a sentence, but it still cannot understand its meaning. It looks like the science fiction fans who dream of robots which look and act just like us had better keep on dreaming.

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Date: 2015-09-22; view: 1323; Нарушение авторских прав

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