Will our smartphones be more intelligent than us?

A somewhat alarmist article appeared in The Canberra Times yesterday (April 26th 2015). This particular excerpt is quite speculative:

Within seven years – about when the iPhone 11 is likely to be released – the smartphones in our pockets will be as computationally intelligent as we are. It doesn’t stop there, though. These devices will continue to advance, exponentially, until they exceed the combined intelligence of the human race.

The analogy here though is quite flawed. An iPhone (indeed, any mobile phone) is simply mobile computer hardware. It is the software that makes it actually do things, such as making calls, surfing the internet and running applications.

So although the phone may have a large amount of computational power, it will be advances in software that will largely determine how it behaves running AI software.

Today’s research is focused on building smart algorithms that solve specific problems, not into building generally intelligent machines. As a result, the futuristic iPhone is more likely to have dozens of AIs rather than a single one, each AI very good at one thing, but completely clueless at others.

Of course, this also depends on rapid advances in battery technology. Otherwise the phone may die before the AI gets to “Hello”.

via The coming problem of smartphones being more intelligent than us.

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