Chapter 10: Processes of Perception and Analysis

Section 12: Human Thinking

The future [of machine thinking]

To achieve human-like thinking with computers will no doubt require advances in both basic science and technology. I strongly suspect that a key element is to be able to store a collection of experiences comparable to those of a human. Indeed, to succeed even with specific tasks such as speech recognition or language translation seems to require human-like amounts of background knowledge. Present-day computers are beginning to have storage capacities that are probably comparable to those of the brain. From looking at the brain one might guess that parallel or other non-standard hardware might be required to achieve efficient human-like thinking. But I rather suspect that—much as in the analogy between birds and airplanes—it will in the end be possible to set up algorithms that achieve the same basic functions but work satisfactorily even on standard sequential-processing computers.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]