Humanizing Computers

Essay by ehawley12College, UndergraduateA-, April 2013

download word file, 10 pages 0.0

The concept of computers and technology has been dreamt about since the beginnings of the 1900s. Science Fiction is full of it-the robot in Star Trek, R2D2 from Star Wars, and all of the Transformers. But why is computer science not advanced enough to recreate these characters in real life? Simply put, the hardware and software required to make computers more human-like just does not exist yet. For the last few decades, scientists have worked on certain projects in the hopes of making advancements in areas of computer science that could lead directly to the humanization of computers. Their main focus has been on simulations of the human body, more specifically, the brain, and how it understands, interprets, and reacts. There are many approaches to accomplishing this simulation. One could begin with the very basic structure and architecture of the body and the brain from its constituent elements, building a system like it from the ground up (Cornwall).

Another approach is from the software side-attempting to emulate human-like interpretation of information in a computer. Computer scientists have made and will continue to make improvements through both of these approaches, but it is not easy. The structure and function of the brain are very complex concepts that are not yet fully understood by even the smartest doctors and scientists in the world (Furber). Over the last ten years and into the future, advancements in hardware have and will be key to understanding the structure of the brain while advancements in software will be key to understand its complicated functions; they both contribute greatly to the idea of humanizing computers.

For decades, computer scientists have been working to answer one of the "grand challenges" of computing, natural language recognition and analysis. Computers are considered very impressive and advanced systems. For this reason,