By 2029, will we be able to joke around with our computers? According to Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering for the internet giant Google, it may very well be so. Kurzweil is not the only one who believes in the amazing powers of computers, but he is the first senior computer programer to claim that the computerization of our personal lives could take place in at least 15 years. “They will be able to understand what we say, learn for our experience, to tell stories and even flirt”, said Kurzweil.
Kurzweil, aged 66, is a world-renowned expert in the field of artificial intelligence and has worked for Google since 2012. His job in the internet and technology giant is to reach a breakthrough for the company, a development that will allow for searches to be carried out by agents of artificial intelligence, which will be able, according to some assessments, to understand us better than we understand ourselves.
In an interview with the “Observer”, Kurzweil explained that Google has given him only slight direction with the project, besides the larger mission, which is to create a system of artificial intelligence which can understand and translate all of the languages of the world for use of Google’s systems. “My project is meant, at the end of it all, to create a system that will understand the actual meaning of words in every language. When you write an article, you not only create an interesting group of words, but you have something more to say and Google is looking for an intelligent system that will able to process the intention that the words represent”, said Kurzweil.
“The point of writing articles is the transfer of information”, Kurzweil continued. “Computers do not know how to find the information. What we are looking for is a system that will be able to read the entire internet, and quickly. They will read every page of every book and then they will be able to take part in an intellectual dialogue with the computer’s user; they will be able to answer questions”.
Google’s lab for artificial intelligence is famous in California’s Silicon Valley for being the most advanced and interesting lab in the world of technology. Kurzweil’s interview with the “Observer” gives readers a peak into what goes on in the super lab. According to reports published by the British “Guardian”, Google purchased a number of language laboratories and robotics companies, including Dynamics out of Boston (the company which created the military robot), Nest Labs, and thermostat marker for a sum of $3.2 million dollars.
Kurzweil is responsible for a number of technological developments for the company and the entire internet world including the speech-to-text function and a the Google Translate system. In 1990, Kurzweil asserted his belief that a computer will be able to win a world championship in chess by 1998, when the IBM Deep Blue computer fulfilled his premonition a year early in 1997.
Kurzweil also predicted the ascent of the World Wide Web, when only a small number of academics were using the internet. “Today, experts who see the systems for voice recognition and the automatic driving system created by Google can no longer say that my estimates are extreme”.