anavictoriasaavedra writes: Over at Wired there's an interesting interview with Ray Kurzweill. He speculates the gap between natural language and computer understanding of it will be closed by 2029. When asked if the problem can be reduced to hardware and software, Kurzweill replies: 'There are both hardware and software requirements. I believe we actually are very close to having the requisite software techniques. Partly this is being assisted by understanding how the human brain works, and we’re making exponential gains there. We can now see inside a living brain and see individual inter-neural connections being formed and firing in real time. We can see your brain create your thoughts and thoughts create your brain. A lot of this research reveals how the mechanism of the neocortex works, which is where we do our thinking. This provides biologically inspired methods that we can emulate in our computers. We’re already doing that. Using these biologically inspired models, plus all of the research that’s been done over the decades in artificial intelligence, combined with exponentially expanding hardware, we will achieve human levels within two decades'.