Can computers, the smart machines, be as clever as man? Will they be able to think like man? Today hardly anyone will answer this question in the positive or else produce watertight arguments to validate such a possibility. Still and all, the smart machines are catching up - slowly but surely. In terms of intelligence, of course. In the first decades of its existence the computer was what its name indicates - a computing machine. Just like that. But then, little by little, it expanded its range of duties: in the 1970s, for instance, the computer was charged with digital information processing - it "learned" to handle various systems of symbols, texts including. The next stage came in the 1999s - namely, image identification. The computer brain became smart enough to compress information, and simulate man's associative memory and emotional conditions. Someday artificial intelligence in the form of robots may measure up to man in certain spheres of mental work.
by Sergei SHUMSKY, Cand. Sc. (Phys.& Math.), Lebedev Institute of Physics, RAS
Problems of artificial intelligence - of an artificial homunculus we might as well say-are handled by a new discipline, neurocomputing. A new generation of computers, the neurocom-puters, has entered the stage. What are their implications for the further progress of human civilization? Your correspondent, Igor Goryunov, met Vice-President of the Russian computer firm NeurOK Sergei Shumsky, who is also a senior researcher at the Lebedev Institute of Physics (Russian Academy of Sciences). Here's a digest of the interview.
- Now, the manufacture of neurocomputers is on the upgrade worldwide. Their marketing netted more than one billion dollars even a few years ago. This is a token of the trend. In 1982 the IBM made as much on personal computers. We all know what came next - PCs have invaded virtually every sphere of human activity. What about neurocomputers and their possible impact on the human individual and human ci ... Read more