I excelled in mathematics in the 2nd grade and was moved to the 3rd grade for advanced math.
In the 5th or 6th grade, I solved the Rubics Cube.
In the 8th or 9th grade, I started with computers. Learned on the original IBM PC at home and TRS-80 at school. It was cutting edge back then.
I've had a foundation in math and logic, learned at an early age. So I have an interest in learning about smart people and their ideas and how they relate to modern day issues.
So today I found a good YouTube video on one of my favorite scientist, Richard Feynman. He worked on the Manhattan Project building the atomic bomb. A well respected Mathematician and Physicist who won the Nobel Prize.
What's interesting, later in his life, he displayed a knowledge and interest in Computers, as seen in this video:
Richard Feynman Computer Heuristics Lecture: http://youtu.be/EKWGGDXe5MA
Explains computers as advanced filing systems, that follow instructions, dumbed down at the lowest level.
He has opinions about if computers can think like humans, he says no. They work efficiently. However, they don't think. They are going to perform same functions as humans, do them better, faster and differently. However the result is the same.
Computers can do some things better than humans, like work with lots of numbers, manipulate them, etc. However, humans can recognize things, patterns, has not been put into a procedure, keep in mind, this video was done in 1985. We do have pattern recognition at this time in modern day, but not perfected.
Are computers harmful? Is a knife harmful, potentially yes. Always has been and always will be. The question is who has the knives and how its used. And the attitude of the leaders of the society.
Listen here: http://youtu.be/EKWGGDXe5MA?t=1h2m10s
And a comment on Big Brother: http://youtu.be/EKWGGDXe5MA?t=1h3m26s
So the rise of information has been a concern for a very long time, its nothing new. So will the development of Artificial Intelligence destroy mankind or give rise to Big Brother, time will tell.
I've listened to some of Feynman's earlier work and later videos. What he emphasizes is to have fun, make things interesting, make work playful. That keeps you interested in the subject at hand. He also has a ferocious appetite for solving problems and likes to have dedicated time of solitude to work on problems. He likes to take hypothetical problem and turn them into real world problems, to keep him interested.
At the end, he does believe that we are closer to getting to computer to think, however it exposes weaknesses in human thinking.
I think the guy is a genius~!