In class we often talk about how the way humans process information is very similar to that of a computer. This is because as we’ve discussed the way a computers networking is formed is similar to how our brain networking works as it takes in new information. But does a computer process information better than we do? Is a computer smarter?
It definitely feels like in some areas there is just no way we are as smart as a computer. Just thinking about all the databases and information that is held on a computer feels nothing close to the amount of information in my brain. I also feel like a computer is able to process some things faster than I can. I mean math would take me a quite a while if I couldn’t just pull up a calculator on my laptop when I forget my handheld calculator!
As we have talked about in class the area where we as humans surpass computers is our ability to think abstractly. Humans don’t always need a formula or procedure for all the things that our brain thinks of or is able to do throughout the day.
According the an article from Time, computers are indeed better at processing certain information at a faster pace than humans are. Computers are able to spit out calculations, answers, and provide multiple outcomes at “superhuman speeds.” The article also mentions how computers have a better memory than humans do. As computers are able to retain large amounts of information and recall the information almost instantly with no changes. We as humans do not always remember events perfectly like a computer. with each time we recall an event rom our memory it becomes less and less reliable as the memory of recalling the event gets added to the original memory. Our memories can also change by framing. This means that the way we are triggered to remember a certain event could cause us to unconsciously change the details of the event to fit how we were prompted.
Although computers are indeed very smart, the article reminds us that the human brain still surpasses that of a computer in several ways. Humans are able to perform tasks, make decisions and solve problems by thinking more abstractly. One way we do this is just when doing different things throughout our day! Throughout the day humans are able to use past life experiences to help influence how they should act in different situations. Although computers are programmed with a vast amount of information they cannot create life experiences to influence their actions. Humans are also able to think creatively (part of that abstract thinking we do!). As humans we can create art, new music or imagine a whole new world. Computers however, are only able to duplicate information that they a;ready have. If the computer has not been programmed with that specific information, they will not be able to come up with it.
Ok but what about artificial intelligence?
Well if we define “intelligence” as Senior Research Fellow for the S. Neaman Institute at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has done as two different aspects; “one is the ability to learn, the other is the ability to solve problems. And in those areas, computers can be smarter than humans.” Then in this sense yes, computers are more “intelligent” than humans. According to the article, today computers learn faster than humans and are able to solve various complex problems. The tasks that computers are able to perform these skills well on however all have one or two things in common. First, there is a vast amount of data can be gathered to solve these tasks and second, they are repetitive tasks. Any repetitive task that creates a lot of data will eventually be learned by computers.
However, others say that speed does not qualify as intelligences Murray Shanahan, Professor of Cognitive Robotics for the Department of Computing at Imperial College in London says that computers will never match humans general intelligence. Shanahan points out how human are able to adapt in a multitude of different environments, where computers are unable to adapt. Finally, humans are also are able to develop meaning to concepts where a computer can only tell you what the concept is.
Overall, I don’t think computers are nearly as smart as humans. There are areas in speed, processing, and in memory that a computers database may surpass ours. A human brain however can think about things with meaning and in a more complex and abstract manor than a computer will ever be able to.
So to conclude..man will always beat machine.