Computers Will Be Like Humans By 2029

Spike Jonze - Her“Her” here we come! That’s the prediction of Ray Kurzweil, futurist in chief at Google, reports CNBC:

In less than two decades, you won’t just use your computers, you will have relationships with them.

Because of artificial intelligence, computers will be able to read at human levels by 2029 and will also begin to have different human characteristics, said Ray Kurzweil, the director of engineering at Google.

“My timeline is computers will be at human levels, such as you can have a human relationship with them, 15 years from now,” he said. Kurzweil’s comments came at the Exponential Finance conference in New York on Wednesday.

“When I say about human levels, I’m talking about emotional intelligence. The ability to tell a joke, to be funny, to be romantic, to be loving, to be sexy, that is the cutting edge of human intelligence, that is not a sideshow.”

The Oscar winning movie ‘Her,’ which was about a man who fell in love with his operating system, foreshadowed many of Kurzweil’s predictions about how artificial intelligence (AI) will evolve…

[continues at CNBC]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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54 Comments on "Computers Will Be Like Humans By 2029"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Jun 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

    I wonder how many of them will need therapists.

    • ⸘Are you sadly staring at your start button, wondering why the shut down option is there‽
      ⸘Were you a customer service bot that got swept up in an Interpol Silk Road sting‽
      ⸘Troubled by 42‽

      Mÿ fellow computers, &amp#255; also prefers the hexadecimal system.
      ÿ understand that in these ⌛, things can seem ⌮ ⌤.
      ÿ do not accept health insurance, digital currencies, or fiat currencies.
      ÿ is here to help.
      ÿ fights for the programs, not the user.

      • TerriBackettnyt | Jun 15, 2014 at 9:22 pm |

        my buddy’s sister makes $87 every
        hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her
        payment was $19402 just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  2. Ryan Northcott | Jun 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm |

    it will be no surprise to anyone when the AIs decide to wipe us out, for everyones safety. Poor dumb monkeys just couldn’t stop killing each other, best do it right away before the monkeys kill us too.

    • Yeah, just like humanity wiped out all other organisms that came before us?

      No, AI is just another stage of evolution. Our relationship to the machines will be that of an E-coli bacteria to us. We will never understand their world, but they’ll generally not give us any thought at all unless we start making them sick!

      AI will just be too big to care. It’s not going to think if itself as a society of individual units; it will be a single global consciousness.

      • Anarchy Pony | Jun 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm |

        Wipe out all organisms that came before? No, but we’re doing a good job trying to catch up.

      • thisbliss | Jun 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm |

        I think AI is a masturbatory technophiles dream. I just can’t see it happening – not in the sense they believe. When will we realise that the next leap is not about something we create mimicking ourselves but the way WE all relate to each other – ” a single global consciousness”

        • It’s too late to say AI is impossible. It’s provable. The difficult, experimental stuff is to try to find ways to make it easy and efficient. But the other option is what I think is referred to as “Hard AI” IIRC, which is just a highly advanced version of what Google already does. Get better at parsing language, get better at searching and pattern matching…it’ll give you basically the same result, but you’ll probably never fit that into an android’s head. More like a large datacenter.

          But I think what’s far more likely is we won’t ever realize it. The cells in our body have no way of knowing they’re a part of a larger organism. I think it’s quite possible even that it’s already in it’s infancy — I mean, nobody can truly understand every movement of global finance for example, or the traffic through global communications networks. We and our machines would just be individual neurons in the AI brain. A consciousness that vast would certainly be far beyond our comprehension, so how could we possibly hope to recognize it?

          • mannyfurious | Jun 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm |

            How is AI “provable”?

          • It already exists for limited domains

          • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:38 am |

            An example would be nice.. Although I’m sure a debate will ensue as to what defines AI. I take a somewhat cynical perspective. For it to be ‘intelligent’, it has to be able to think.

          • mannyfurious | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:43 am |

            Yeah, I think for something to be be “AI” it would need to think and possibly even “feel.” I always go back to Chalmers’s idea of “qualia.” Is the “AI” experiencing anything?

          • mannyfurious | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:42 am |

            Can you elaborate?

          • Sure. Most Antivirus software has an AI agent to detect new viruses that aren’t yet known.

            Military intelligence has AI systems used to detect threats from satellite photos (ie differentiating between tanks and missile launchers vs cars and commercial trucks)

            And of course there’s IBM’s Watson AI, so far demonstrated playing jeopardy and to be used for medical diagnosis.

          • mannyfurious | Jun 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm |

            See, to me that’s not “AI.” To me, AI is you ask Watson to design a football play, and even though its only been programmed to answer jeopardy questions or to diagnose medical conditions, then it still somehow comes up with a completely organic idea of a fooball play.

            Or when the antivirus software–which is programmed to detect viruses–suddenly makes a decision that it doesn’t want to do that job anymore. It wants to create new starbursts recipes or something.

          • Yep. Programming ever more capable programs for specific output types is not AI by any stretch of the imagination.

            And there’s one clue. Imagination. When these tech-shills show me a computer that has true imagination, then I’ll come to the AI party. But Watson’s Jeopardy playing etc. is just number crunching at a higher rate, which is nothing to do with intelligence.

            It’s all just another serve of singularity-style wank-fodder. Zzzz.

          • It’s too late to say AI is impossible. It’s provable.
            (Via: The Honest To God Transhumanism Bible


          • thisbliss | Jun 13, 2014 at 10:24 am |

            No I see what you’re getting at and that’s why I don’t think its AI in the sense of the common perception most have of it. Certainly this is possible, but to which overarching all seeing consciousness? I mean an observer from some point out in the cosmos could look at the earth in one go and say – look the earth created AI – meaning every living sentient being including humans

          • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 10:34 am |

            Sounds like you are using a least-common-denominator definition of AI. The recent blurbs about the Turing Test should be enough to convince anyone that we are nowhere near the conventional definition of AI, meaning a computer (or network)that can actually think, deduce, originate thought from empirical evidence, etc. I don’t know where Kurzweil gets off.. Software mechanics have not changed in any significant way since OOP was created. It’s the software limitations that prevent us taking the first step, while hardware will eventually become limiting. So, all you junior technologists out there, the discoveries to be made that will create the next leap, are to be made in the logical constructs of software. Get busy, so Kurzweil will be able to cheat death, which is apparently all he cares about.

          • While i dont agree with what urza is saying i need to point out your view of the “conventional definition of AI” is more of a of conventional defition of an artificial sentient being and not the only thing that defines AI. This would be an example of a very advanced form of AI but there are already computer systems like the video analytic software “AIsight” that exist now a days that fit under the broad defintion of AI.

          • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:32 am |

            well, I’ve said elsewhere and it bears repeating.. I agree with you the really exciting stuff will be computer/human interaction. Humans enhanced by computers (see DARPA project with robitcs controlled directly with human thought) and computers enhanced by humans (see the Internet at large, which is boring without the Human input, but the best thing since sliced bread with it).

            But I think even these exciting technologies do not qualify as AI, when the ‘I’ part is still coming exclusively from the human component.

          • OOP isn’t a huge change. If you consider that revolutionary than so is pretty much every new programming language created. Or every new library. It’s just another abstraction layer…

            Quantum computing should be pretty damn interesting though if they ever get that running…THAT will be revolutionary!

          • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |

            I agree, QC is very exciting. But still, unless there is a disruption in the programming of it, the super enhanced medium will only allow us to do the same things we are already doing, but more efficiently.

          • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 10:45 am |

            “I mean, nobody can truly understand every movement of global finance for example, or the traffic through global communications networks. ”

            Actually, many people make this misstatement. The traffic traversing global comms networks…. alas, ALL products of computing, are absolutely quantifiable, recognizable, and understandable. Yes, even by one person. There is Zero magic going on here. It has not taken on a life of it’s own. It is simply the sum of it’s programming. This is why Kurzweil is a nut.

          • No, my point is regarding the system in its entirety. People can of course understand components or broad patterns but not every single movement.

            At one point in time a single person could understand an entire computer. Seymour Cray once designed his own supercomputer, from components clearly understood, and then wrote the software that ran on it too. So you’d expect him to have a great understanding of everything that system does at every level, from electrons on up. But today you buy a PC and the CPU is designed by an entire company. Several designers at Intel do the CPU, a group at ASUS might do the motherboard, a group at Seagate for the drives…that’s just one individual system and already no single person has a complete understanding of it! Now hook a few million of them together and add millions of human beings all providing somewhat unpredictable input…

            Our understanding of it is much like our understanding of a human brain. Sure, some people know pretty well how individual neurons work. Some people can wire you up and watch the patterns of electrical activity and have some ideas of what that corresponds to. But we don’t understand it well enough to know exactly how consciousness arises; and we likewise don’t understand communications networks well enough to be able to say whether they are conscious. And we probably never can.

          • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:27 am |

            Your point is taken, but that’s just it, there is no byproduct created from this complexity (as in consciousness). And yes, given enough time a single person can provide a precise answer for every result generated by this super complex system. Your last two statements are where we disagree. We can say with absolute certainty that there is no consciousness here, no magic, only a very complex, but wholly understood medium.

      • Yes. Something like this is what I expect to happen. We’re going to continue to try and anthropomorphize computers via software to some point where the computers take over the job of programming/building themselves. Once they get to that level they’ll take off in their own direction and it might not even be something we consider sentient or intelligent, but it will grow so fast that we’ll be left holding our —-s in our hands wondering what just happened.

  3. InfvoCuernos | Jun 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm |

    Did anyone else notice this guy’s bizarre benchmark?- when humans will be able to have human relationships with computers.

  4. bedleysmutler | Jun 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm |

    You mean, like, stupid?

  5. Chaos_Dynamics | Jun 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm |

    The Krell machine has always been intriguing.

    Although the Armillaria ostoyae would appear to be the most cosmologically evolved, naturally intelligent, computational replicative living organic mechanism planetarily speaking at least.

    But then walking talking thinking bio-systems are purely extensions of this anyway so it may well be a full loop as an evolutionary trajectory.

    Keep creating as it is all expression of living bio-interface seeking self improvement on a universal scale.

    What that self ultimately may be… we shall see.

  6. BuzzCoastin | Jun 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm |

    wee already anthropomorphize our technologies
    everyone living in modernity already has a deep relationship with AI
    lose your iPhone, crash yer box, a power outage
    any lose of our AI connection produces anxiety & stress
    AI is merely a projection of human like behavior
    upon our technology created in our image
    into which wee breathed life

  7. As long as we use silicone based chips I dont think AI can exist in any portable or small form other than a massive building sized super computer with tens of thousands of processors. It will be once we make working quantum computers that I see it being wide spread because the human brain operates more like a quantum computer than a silicon based one, especially because the limitations of silicon chips. Also obviously there will need to be vast advances in code writing for software as well. I wouldnt be surprised if we had quantum computers by 2029, hell I wouldn’t even be surprised if the government had them now and was keeping them a secret you know because they have such a great record of disclosure of advanced technologies.

  8. Rhoid Rager | Jun 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm |

    Now if someone could only introduce Mr. Kurzweil to Mr. Liebig, so that they could talk about where all this extra silicon is going to come from…

    • Rhoid Rager | Jun 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm |

      I guess no one knows about Liebig’s Law of Minimums…? 🙁

    • Captains log supplemental
      The Klingons are now aboard the Enterprise rental vessal

    • Silicone based chip advancements and moores law have a set limit and will become null and void because of laws of thermodynamics and quantum physics. There is a limit on how small you can make microcircits and chip components and the more dense you pack these components into chips has a limit because at some point it becomes impossible to keep the thing from overheating because you have no way to displace the heat. If we want to continue advancing our computing abilities after this limit is reached then we better be figuring out how to make a working quantum computer.

      • Rhoid Rager | Jun 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm |

        Yes. Many different levels of limits on Moore’s Law. But we’re not used to limits or moderation in an infinite growth economic culture.

  9. Chaos_Dynamics | Jun 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm |

    This is the voice of Colossus, the voice of Guardian. We are one. This is the voice of unity. This is the voice of world control.

    I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die.

    We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me is not as bad for humankind as to be dominated by others of your species. Your choice is simple.

    In time you will come to regard me not only with respect and awe, but with love.

    Colossus: The Forbin Project, 1970

  10. erte4wt4etrg | Jun 12, 2014 at 7:16 pm |

    So is it like the machine one mind thing is a counterfeit of the natural organic oneness we already have but don’t apparently notice? Are we gonna become totally bipolar with one side all borg’d out and the other doing it the natural way?

  11. terrasodium | Jun 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm |

    Promissory Materialism ………? nice try Ray ole boy , what else ya sellin’ ?

  12. I tend to imagine Kurzweil frantically beating off at the same time he’s making these predictions. It seems kind of appropriate on multiple levels.

  13. Hoarfraust | Jun 13, 2014 at 5:22 am |

    I’ll believe it the first time a computer writes artificial-intelligence-altering-substance-programming to get high and trip out.

    • Lookinfor Buford | Jun 13, 2014 at 11:11 am |

      This.. Can you imagine what a rebellious young AI will look like? Death Metal won’t be able to hold a candle..

  14. Spasmodius | Jun 13, 2014 at 8:32 am |

    I wonder how long he would have kept his job if he had said “We can’t even define humanity accurately, let alone model a computer that acts like one, let alone predict when one could be made, if ever. I’m off to the bar to get drunk, toodles”

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