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Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

Skynet, the self-aware computers featured in the Terminator movies, is becoming more and more of a reality if a former IBM Chief Scientist is to be believed.

Peter Van Der Made, current Chief Scientist at vWISP based in Western Australia has spent over a decade studying the human brain and understanding how to replicate it in computer form.

He says that computers are reaching the tipping point of learning for themselves, conjuring images of a doomsday scenario not unlike those seen in Terminator and Fallout.

Van Der Maae is formerly IBM's Chief Scientist at Internet Security Systems.

The scientist's new book Higher Intelligence tells the story of a 10-year breakthrough R&D project to build an 'artificial brain' chip that will help computers learn like the human brain.

In 2004, Bill Gates told a class of engineering students: "If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence so machines can learn, that is worth 10 Microsofts."

This breakthrough Gates referred to has now seemingly been achieved and is set to change the world in ways that not even Hollywood has imagined.

"By producing computer chips that allow computers to learn for themselves, we have unlocked the next generation of computers and artificial intelligence," Mr Van Der Made said.

Given Arnold Schwarzenegger’s current age (65) we might have to start looking for a new hero to take on the new potentially self-aware computers.

"Current computers are great tools for number crunching, statistical analysis, or surfing the Internet. But their usefulness is limited when it comes to being able to think for themselves and develop new skills," Mr Van Der Made opined.

The synthetic brain chip of tomorrow can apparently evolve through learning, rather than being programmed.

Instead of us buying apps for our smartphones to make them 'smarter', Van Der Made says new super smart computers, machines and mobile devices will be making themselves smarter without our help.

The fact that the human brain learns as it gathers and applies knowledge is one thing that has been overlooked in the past 70 years of people trying to develop computers with artificial intelligence.

This new approach to creating 'super smart computers' is set to revolutionize the world of computing and technology.

Van Der Made's book explains the 'super smart revolution' in more detail, with more information available here.

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