A.I. Hype

The great breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence has been just around the corner for the past 50 years or so. From Instapundit I found this link:

I hope Intel warned the Luddites and pessimists away at the door, because the chipmaker had a lot of bullish statements Thursday [August 21] about its belief that computers will become smarter than humans.
At the Intel Developer Forum here, Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner showed off a number of technologies in computing, robotics, and communication that he cited as evidence that Ray Kurzweil’s concept of “singularity,” when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence, is impending.

Demonstrations spotlighted the wireless transmission of electrical power, dextrous robots with new sensory abilities, a direct interface to the brain, programmable materials that can be used for shape-shifting devices such as resizable cell phones, and silicon photonics that enables chips to communicate with photons rather than electrons.
“We’re making steady progress toward Ray Kurzweil’s singularity,” Rattner said.

Do you notice anything in common about the "demonstrations" mentioned above? None of them have much, if anything to do with A.I. Whether computers are powered wirelessly or through a cord is not relevant to how they process information. Nor does a more dexterous robotic hand make a computer more intelligent. Interfacing to the human brain may link human intelligence to computers, but that's not really A.I. Programmable materials sound interesting, but as far as AI goes, the question is the programming, not the materials. And photon-based computing may yield faster computers, but speed alone is not what makes for machine intelligence.

Count me among the Luddites and pessimists.