Stephen Wolfram Q&ASubmit a question
Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram
Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.
July 27, 2015
From: Interview by Byron Reese, Gigaom
What is the state of the technology? Have we built something as smart as a bird, for instance?
Well, what does it mean to make something that is as smart as X? In the history of artificial intelligence, there’s been a continuing set of tests that people have come up with. If you can do X, then we’ll know you’re as smart as humans, or something like that. Almost every X that’s been defined so far, machines have ended up being able to do, though the methods that they use to do it are usually utterly different from the ones that seem to be involved with humans. So the types of things that machines find easy are very different from those kinds of things that people find easy. I think it’s also the case that a lot of things people say, “Gosh, we should automate this”, the mode of automation ends up being different from just sort of the way that you would—sort of if you had a brain in a box, the way that you would use that. Probably a core question about AI is, “How do you get all of intelligence?” For that to be a meaningful question, one has to define what one means by “intelligence”. This, I think, gets us into some bigger kinds of questions.