OnQ Blog

Bringing cognitive technologies to life – can machines think like humans?

Jan 26, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

I recently saw “The Imitation Game”—the movie about the British mathematician and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing. I won’t spoil the movie for you if you haven’t seen it, but I wanted to discuss the question Turing brought up seven decades ago in his paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence: “Can machines think?”

It’s this very question that moved Turing to develop a test called "The Imitation Game," which he believed could settle the issue of machine intelligence. One of his tests pitted a human-generated answer to a question against a machine-generated answer. If the machine could imitate humans closely enough to fool another person—the judge—into thinking it was a human, it passed his test.

This got me thinking… as today’s devices pack more powerful processors and sensors, they have become more “aware.” But, can they pass the Turing test? And if they can think and behave like humans, what will this mean for us?

As devices begin to see and hear in 3D and as machine learning allows them to perceive and process that information like humans, new worlds of possibilities open. Robots, cars, and other devices will become autonomous, anticipating outcomes far faster and more accurately. Devices will also have the intelligence to think with us, rather than for us. This journey to broader device and machine intelligence will not happen overnight, nor will it happen all at once.

To move these possibilities closer to reality, Qualcomm Technologies is developing cognitive technologies such as brain-inspired machine learning, human-like computer vision, intelligent connectivity, and always-on sensing. Building on the smartphone foundation and the scale of mobile, we envision these cognitive technologies expanding beyond mobile and powering other devices, machines, cars, and other things.

If you want to learn more about this, join our webinar with Gigaom Research, Tuesday, January 27 at 10 a.m. (PST). In addition to discussing the technologies that will enable this machine intelligence, we will also be evaluating the long-term future and providing advice to technologists and manufacturers looking to participate in the coming era of machine intelligence.

If you are a part of the analyst community and cannot attend that webinar, we invite you to the upcoming Qualcomm Analyst webinar titled: Intelligent Machines of the Future: Bringing cognitive technologies to life.

To learn more about our Cognitive Technologies activities now, click here.

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Maged Zaki

Director, Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies