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What Makes a Mind? Kurzweil and Google May Be Surprised

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Mouse somatosensory cortex

A cross section showing the somatosensory cortex of a mouse. Neurons, at the bottom, and dendrites, reaching up, have been colored by green fluorescent protein from jellyfish.

Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0

After writing about Ray Kurzweil’s ambitious plan to create a super-intelligent personal assistant in his new job at Google (see "Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have it Serve You"), I sent a note to Boris Katz, a researcher in MIT’s Computer Scientist and Artificial Intelligence Lab who’s spent decades trying to give machines the ability to parse the information conveyed through language, to ask him what he makes of the endeavor.

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