How smart are today’s computers?

They can tackle increasingly complex tasks with an almost human-like intelligence.

Microsoft has developed an Xbox game console that can assess a player’s mood by analyzing his or her facial expressions, and in 2011, IBM’s Watson supercomputer won Jeopardy — a quiz show that often requires contestants to interpret humorous plays on words.

These developments have brought us closer to the holy grail of computer science: artificial intelligence, or a machine that’s capable of thinking for itself, rather than just respond to commands.

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