There was a contest where a man used a scythe to cut the grass from a parcel faster than a person using a lawnmower. Here is the video.
I was watching that, and something felt wrong about the whole setup. And then it hit me! No, it was not the fact that there is nothing scientific about the video :).
The problem is that the parcel had a carefully selected size so that the man with the scythe does not get tired. What if the test parcel was ten times larger?
Even if a machine is one hundred times slower than you, it will beat your performance on a long enough time horizon.
Why? Because it does not get bored, it does not get tired, and it does not sleep. In three words:
It doesn’t stop!
This idea applies best to Artificial Intelligence. You can argue that AI is still not smart enough or fast enough to make connections, but the progress never stops!
There was a time when you could say:
“I have read all the books on this planet!” or
“I have watched all the movies ever produced!”
No human mind can ever go through all the data we have produced (and continue to produce). But for a computer algorithm, it is not a problem!
Imagine the connections you could make or the insights you would have if you could read all the books that exist today.
An AI can already consume way more that than we can imagine. And the ability to also comprehend the data is increasing with time at an accelerated pace.
In a few short years, I believe that AI will be objectively “smarter” than us in measurable ways.
Will it also be sentient? That’s is a story for another time.