Robert Maxwell wrote:
Likewise, let's make the leap that someone does create a generalized AI--but it requires a trillion dollars' worth of hardware and consumes a city's worth of electricity, and it makes decisions at a slower rate than a human. Is that ever going to be very broadly useful? I doubt it.
Which goes back to my point about sentient AI being fundamentally impractical. I can't emphasize enough the point that most of what you'll need an AI to do for you are NOT the kinds of things you need a self-aware, fully sentient computer for. You don't really need Siri to have emotional states or personal motivations like a true secretary, nor does the computer system that drives your car for you need to think like an actual motorist. Secretaries and human drivers can get distracted or annoyed or angry or jealous and this can compromise their job performance all the same.
On the other hand, some clever programming tricks and some refined algorithms turned Siri into a kind of wisecracking personal assistant just a couple of pods short of a HAL-9000.