Jay Licklider talks about Man-Computer symbiosis in his piece as an ideal goal for technological advancement. He claims that operations that take up most of man's time can be more efficiently performed by machines (76). I'm not sure if I think that we will discover a way to design computers that think exactly how humans do. We do so out of evolution, a natural process, not something created by any one person or a collaboration. Our capabilities are in large part due to accidents. I wonder if we can accidentally stumble upon a way to make machines actually think without the natural occurrence of mutation and a significant amount of time much longer than humans are even used to think about.
I think this dialog brings up the really interesting topic of the differences between humans and computers. Okay so obviously there are many. Humans have emotions. We think, we feel, we act, and there is no predictable formula for any of these steps. We learn, but not always in a predictable or rational way. It's cliché but our imperfections make us human, our lack of efficiency.
Clearly computers are not perfect. They can get viruses or malfunction or have design flaws. Still technology is always being improved upon with this goal of speed and efficiency because we humans want tools that do what we cannot. If machines could think as humans do and thus make decisions they might decide that certain things are more fulfilling than efficiency or their duty. And then they wouldn't really be machines except in their technology. They'd be like metal people. It's a little bit presumptuous to say that we can play God like this or that we should.
Personally I think that computers are great tools. They have an incredible capacity for storage that is immensely valuable to humans less capable in this way. However, to make machines extensions of ourselves is a little extreme. Maybe I'm just conservative in how far I think we should go with technology but I appreciate the fact that I think slowly and inefficiently. Often an imperfect thought is the seed for real creativity.