Attached to: A Look Back At Kurzweil's Predictions For 2009
His perception that the brain is a computer is just wrong. It's a pattern matching engine, and it's main ability is fast memory look ups.
This 20 year number for creation of conscience machines is far off the mark. It was pushed by Ray Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines".
That book fails to take into account the memory bottleneck.
Here is my reasoning.
Everyone knows Moore's law, doubling every 18 Months. This is 66% Per year. But did you know memory performance in increasing only 11% per year.
In addition the capacity is also increasing, causing it to take longer and longer to scan every byte stored in a computers RAM memory then before. So even if you can hold more it's not proportionally faster to search it.
Now with the Brain, It only runs at 100 Hz, and holds 10^12 Neurons allowing 10^14 logic decisions per second. CPU's are at 3 * 10^9 so in about 18 Years we will be there in logic operations.
But how about memory? We don't even know what the brain holds, but at minimum it 1 bit per neuron 10 GBytes, If it 1 bit per dendrite that's 10,000 Bits per neuron giving 100 T Bytes. I suspect the real number is far greater because data I believe is stored in the interconnect patterns. Lets assume the best case, PC's are limited to 4 gig bytes already, we will be at 10GB in no time all, 7 years. To Reach the 100 TB That's about 20 years out. With Moore laws 66% a year increase.
Now how about memory speed? The brain can access all 10GB to 100TB 100 times per second. Giving us a memory throughput from 1 TB / Sec to 10 PetaBytes per second.
We have 833 Mhz FSB. This increase only 11% this takes about 7 years to double. So to go from 8.33 x 10^8 Byte per sec to the low number of 10^10 would take 25 Years or so and the High 10^13 would take about 100 years to reach this point.
But I think our brains hold more then a 100PetaBytes, this will take over 200 years for computers to reach that point with memory performance. So at least Humans are safe for the time being.
Computers are just really fast idiots for now.