BBC Radio 4’s programme on the history of ideas discussed artificial intelligence recently, with some of the leading researchers in the field.
The programme slipped past my attention when it was first on a couple of weeks ago, but the full audio archive is available online to listen to at your leisure.
“Can machines think?” It was the question posed by the mathematician and Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing and it is a question still being asked today. What is the difference between men and machines and what does it mean to be human? And if we can answer that question, is it possible to build a computer that can imitate the human mind?
Interestingly, Turing was quite bullish about the prospect, as shown in an excerpt from the 1950 edition of Whitakers Almanack.
I’ve yet to find out what the ‘300 year old sum’ is, that is mentioned as solved by the ‘mechanical brain’ from the article at the link above. Answers on a postcard please…