When will Machine Intelligence surpass Human Intelligence?

0829 Sooner Solutions logo email and webRecent events suggest that it’s going to be a lot sooner than most expect. Consider these developments:

  • the victory of Deep Blue over then World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in 1997;
  • IBM’s Watson defeated all humans in the Jeopardy game show in early 2011;
  • In early 2014, history was made when a computer convinced human judges that it was a thirteen-year-old Ukrainian boy; and
  • IBM is in the process of buying Merge Healthcare with an intent of ‘teaching’ their Watson supercomputer how to diagnose disease by uploading millions of Merge’s clients’ medical images. IBM appears to view medical imaging as a key element of its vision to transform healthcare with cognitive computing and analytics.

The third point above is particularly significant in that it was the first computer to pass the Turing Test by convincing one-third of the judges at the University of Reading in London that it was human. The computer, which presented itself as Eugene Goostman, actually fooled all the humans. According to James Canton in his book Future Smart, “A watershed moment in human and machine history came and went with the evening news, hardly noticed by most people that the revolution in machine intelligence – the equality of machines to one day embrace human mimicry and even come to surpass humans – had started.”  Canton’s top ten forecasts for 2030:

  1. Africa becomes the next China.
  2. Computers become as smart as humans.
  3. Managing climate change becomes a new industry.
  4. Space mining revenues exceed $125 billion a year.
  5. Robots are a $500 billion industry.
  6. Smart drugs enhance 60 percent of the population.
  7. Digital entrepreneurs make up over 70 percent of the global economy.
  8. Regenerative medicine extends life and health.
  9. Mobile commerce transforms economies.
  10. Global prosperity decreases terrorism.