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Where is the future of computers and computer intelligence heading? Is it good? Is it the wrong direction yet the right track? A look into the past, the present, and the future of computers will likely make up the mind of a person who hasn’t thought about this topic. From a humanist stand point, I do not think the future is bright but from a computer development stand point, the future look endless.
The computer was first thought up by a guy named Alan Turing who figured there could be a machine that could do mathematical equations without human interaction. Without the technology available, this thought was just that, a thought. However, in the 1930’s IBM built a calculating machine called the Mark I. Although still not quite a computer because it had to read punch cards, it would set the stage for the future.
The next big step in computer technology was the building of ENIAC. The first successful, general digital computer was finished in 1945 and weighed 60000 lbs. and housed more than 18000 vacuum tubes. This computer could not permanently store information however so a new development had to be made and in 1952 EDVAC was born. Now machines could “remember” information. Technologically, this was a huge advancement but could the developers see what might come of the future if a computer can remember what it has done? But walking talking computers that could think and speak on their own were a far cry considering these machines covered more than an acre in size.
The invention of the integrated circuit in 1959 was the biggest development until 1971 when the microprocessor was developed. The microprocessor can house thousands of transistors on an area the size of a pencil eraser. With the creation of the microprocessor(fig.2) came an explosion of computer technology. Now computers could be made to perform thousands of calculations a second and could fit on a desktop (fig.3). But could these computers think on their own and do things without being told? On a secondary level, yes. If a user gave a command to the computer, the computer could carry out a series of task and give the user a result. However, a computer cannot do something without being told to first such as pick up objects and destroy things. That is until the birth of AI or artificial intelligence.
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I’m not the only one to share this outlook on life either. The writers of The Matrix, the Wachowski Brothers, as well as Steven Spielberg, writer of the movie AI, John Christopher, writer of the book The White Mountains, and even the Terminator series of movies touches on the subject. Obviously, future developments should consider the fact that if the technology gets out of hand, human kind could lose control.
In the past, machines technology crawled to where it is today. But now technology is advancing faster than the public can keep it. If we as a human race keep up this trend, it is possible AI will be fully developed and machines will be able to think to point of becoming their own race. I feel that technology advancement should take a break so my vision of black skies with flying machines everywhere doesn’t come true. I don’t want to a slave of the machines and I don’t want a machine to be able to outsmart me. However, I do know that there isn’t anything I can do about it.