Are we really advanced in computing

  zootmo 20:17 10 Jul 04
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or are we really just a bunch of monkeys running round on a rocky planet....in computing terms. Come on all you forum users,where is computing going?

  davidg_richmond 20:56 10 Jul 04

Computing is currently just a tool, although a very advanced one at that. On the whole, computing just is a more advanced knife or hammer, enabling us to do our jobs better, whether that be running an office or discovering scientific advances. Computing has not totally achieved what other scientific advances have done for mankind, such as farming has for lifestyle and educational development, and social structure.

However this tool is developing branches in other areas such as communication - we now have a whole new method of communication through the internet, so social change may happen more decisively in future if the internet is developed with social communication in mind.

Cybernetics will provide, in the more distant future, a larger degree of social change, as will computing's effect on the business of managing our evolution and quality of life (cloning, stem-cell research, genetic engineering and genetic determination).

So far we have only developed machines that can process large numbers, but much larger numbers involved in much more complicated calculations than our own brains can handle. However our simian grey matter still has the edge in pattern recognition, speech recognition, imagination and creativity, linguistics, moral and ethical reasoning and emotion.

  Old Shep 21:02 10 Jul 04

As computers were made by man surely they can only give us information that is put in by man - or am I on the wrong planet.

  davidg_richmond 21:11 10 Jul 04

Yes, they are limited to the information that we provide at present, which restricts them to use as a tool, an information-sharing tool just like a printing press. The internet has given man's collective knowledge a central, easily accessible repository to anybody with a connection, and can stimulate research and general knowledge. Or you can use it for porn.

However, any real advance in strong artificial intelligence could change all that. There may be a stage where computers do our research and thinking for us, if we do not advance our thinking ourselves to stay ahead. One benefit of this would be space exploration, where intelligent explorers can go where we cannot and send back knowledge that they have analysed themselves. If an intelligent computer has access to theoretical models of biology and digitised samples of DNA, they could also learn to manipulate DNA. Whether this is ethical or not is still left to the homo sapiens who built the machine.

  spuds 12:14 11 Jul 04

Seeing the recent Jeremy Clarkson's programme about computers, which covered the subject from the World War 2 codebreakers to present day vacuum cleaners and beyond. It looks like a whole new ball game is in the making. Appears very scary, as to where the human race is heading.

  zootmo 14:58 11 Jul 04

by davidg and others, anyone think that computers will be self aware, intelligent in the way described.Self defending, for instance, able to stop virus attacks against themselves?

  spuds 17:56 11 Jul 04

In the above mentioned programme, Jeremy Clakson had a discussionn with a 'humanoid' computer. Bit like the email auto response.Ask a question and receive a unrelated different answer. Computer 3 Jeremy Clarkson 1. We are doomed I'll tell ye, We are Doomed :o)

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