Where did counting begin? Artifacts more than 5,000 years old have been found, with notches on bones. Were these notations etched to count seasons, kills, children? The origins of mathematics accompanied the evolution of social systems. Many, many social needs require calculation and numbers. As society formed and organized, the need to express quantity emerged.
When society emerged from hunting and gathering to agrarian villages, there was a need to account for surpluses. Counting probably arose spontaneously more or less independently from place to place, tribe to tribe. Various number systems arose, remarkably similar.
The transition from counting with markers to counting with mechanical devices occurred over thousands of years. Then society realized that records of accounting were required, and statistics were saved and archived. Scientists came along and developed logic to accompany counting, and math and the early computer were born. More recently, remote control of devices emerged and robotics resulted. Then computers became autonomic, with sensors in and responses out. In June of 2014, IBM simulated a brain on a chip.
Who first conceived the idea that someday computers would “think” in ways that one could not distinguish from a human? Perhaps it was Alan Turing. Turing predicted that computers would someday “think” so similarly to humans, that if a problem was posed to a human in one room, and a computer in another, the questioner could not distinguish from the answer which room it came from.
Will computers be humanized by 2030? What devices will take over as our personal assistants, sometimes making decisions for us? Will devices with artificial intelligence be totally autonomous? Will speech recognition be so advanced that that you think you are talking to a human? Will autonomous means of transportation be driverless or pilotless?
Let me take you on a journey…