Can the Brain's Metaphor Machine be Copied?

I'm not actually predicting that until 2029 that we will match human intelligence, but computers will nonetheless do things that humans can't do.

I've been thinking about pattern recognition for 50 years.  I don't know that I'm personally a particularly good pattern recognizer, but I have studied how the process works. 


The neocortex is actually a metaphor machine.  Each one of these pattern recognizers has a pattern but it can actually apply it successfully to patterns it's never seen before if they are similar and have certain invariant features.  Invariant features is a key here, and there are mathematical ways of doing that.

I've been in working in this field for decades and I believe now we have powerful enough computers that can actually start to compete with the human brain in terms of the number of levels of hierarchy.  And I'm not actually predicting that until 2029 that we will match human intelligence, but computers will nonetheless do things that humans can't do.

Watson – if it read one page, wouldn't be as strong as you or I, but it was able to read hundreds of millions of pages and its ability to read each page is going to increase.  So that's where we're headed. 

By 2029, they will match human intelligence.  And then apply the tremendous scale of all the billions of pages, millions of books that are out there and understand it and be able to have total recall of it.

But then a comment on that is it's not an alien invasion of these intelligent machines to displace us.  We will use them to make ourselves smarter, which is what we do today. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer
popular

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less