At Intel Corp., just passing its 40th anniversary and with myriad chips in its historical roster, a top company exec looks 40 years into the future to a time when human intelligence and machine intelligence have begun to merge.
Justin Rattner, CTO and a senior fellow at Intel, told Computerworld that perhaps as early as 2012 we’ll see the lines between human and machine intelligence begin to blur. Nanoscale chips or machines will move through our bodies, fixing deteriorating organs or unclogging arteries. Sensors will float around our internal systems monitoring our blood sugar levels and heart rates, and alerting doctors to potential health problems.
Virtual worlds will become increasingly realistic, while robots will develop enough intelligence and human-like characteristics that they’ll become companions, not merely vacuum cleaners and toys.
Most aspects of our lives, in fact, will be very different as we close in on the year 2050. Computing will be less about launching applications and more about living lives in which computers are inextricably woven into our daily activities.
“What we think of as a computer and what we think of as IT, in general, is likely to change,” said Rattner, who has been at Intel for 35 of the company’s 40 years. “The intelligent systems will move from being information systems to intelligent systems that will carry out a whole variety of tasks that we just won’t think of as computing tasks…. The technology will find its way into so many things we do, and we won’t even think about it. The explicit way we’ve done computing in the past will be there, but it will be a very small subset of what we’ll be doing.”
How can you predict that the merger will happen in 40 years, while also saying it will start in 2012.
If it starts in 2012, I’d say we’re going to get ‘there’ one helluva lot quicker than 40 years.