If a human and a computer both read a single page of comedy, the human would be at an enormous advantage. The computer wouldn’t have a chance.
But if we asked both a human and a computer to read 200 million pages, the tables are turned. The human wouldn’t no where to begin and the computer would go on to win Jeopardy!
In the video below, the futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil explains how computational power lies in its scalability. Consider medicine, for instance. IBM’s Watson can read all of the medical literature – every medical journal article, every medical book, major medical blogs – and will be “an expert diagnostician and medical consultant that has read everything,” Kurzweil says. “No human can do that.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a computer will become a great doctor. What it does mean is that a computer can serve as an excellent medical assistant. “It will be an assistant that helps you through the day,” Kurzweil tells Big Think. “It will answer your questions before you ask them or even before you realize you have a question.”