Jane Wakefield explains for BBC News:
If you were expecting some kind warning when computers finally get smarter than us, then think again.
There will be no soothing HAL 9000-type voice informing us that our human services are now surplus to requirements.
In reality, our electronic overlords are already taking control, and they are doing it in a far more subtle way than science fiction would have us believe.
Their weapon of choice – the algorithm.
Behind every smart web service is some even smarter web code. From the web retailers – calculating what books and films we might be interested in, to Facebook’s friend finding and image tagging services, to the search engines that guide us around the net.
It is these invisible computations that increasingly control how we interact with our electronic world.