Informatics professor examines how computers think

With recent advances in self-driving cars, people have wondered how well computers can think like people. But Hamid Ekbia, professor of Informatics, Cognitive Science and Internatinoal Studies, explains this can be misguiding. Ekbia researches artificial intelligence by exploring the metaphors and language surrounding it. Ekbia said describing the computer like a brain can cause people to overestimate the potential of artificial intelligence, whether it’s self-driving cars, chess-playing computers or human-like robots. “If the brains are like this, then our memories are storage devices,” said Ekbia, “The brain is a computer. Memory is storage. What we process is information.” But this brain-computer metaphor is complicated. “When we make these statements about machines, that changes our own perceptions about what it means to be intelligent,” Ekbia said. “That is where my concern…


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