Computer Programs “Lack the Flexibility of Human Thinking”

(p. A11) . . . let’s not panic. “Superintelligent” machines won’t be arriving soon. Computers today are good at narrow tasks carefully engineered by programmers, like balancing checkbooks and landing airplanes, but after five decades of research, they are still weak at anything that looks remotely like genuine human intelligence.
. . .
Even the best computer programs out there lack the flexibility of human thinking. A teenager can pick up a new videogame in an hour; your average computer program still can only do just the single task for which it was designed. (Some new technologies do slightly better, but they still struggle with any task that requires long-term planning.)

For the full commentary, see:
GARY MARCUS. “Artificial Intelligence Isn’t a Threat–Yet; Superintelligent machines are still a long way off, but we need to prepare for their future rise.” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., Dec. 13, 2014): A11.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Dec. 11, 2014.)

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