"Am I disappointed by the amount of progress in cognitive science and artificial intelligence in the past 30 years or so? Not at all. To the contrary, I would have been extremely upset if we had come anywhere close to reaching A.I. — it would have made me fear that our minds and souls were not deep. Reaching the goal of A.I. in just a few decades would have made me dramatically lose respect for humanity, and I certainly don’t want (and never wanted) that to happen.
I am a deep admirer of humanity at its finest and deepest and most powerful — of great people such as Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, Ella Fitzgerald, Albert Schweitzer, Frederic Chopin, Raoul Wallenberg, Fats Waller, and on and on. I find endless depth in such people ... and I would hate to think that all that beauty and profundity and goodness could be captured — even approximated in any way at all! — in the horribly rigid computational devices of our era.
Do I still believe it will happen someday? I can’t say for sure, but I suppose it will eventually, yes. I wouldn’t want to be around then, though. Such a world would be too alien for me. I prefer living in a world where computers are still very, very stupid. And I get a huge kick out of laughing at the hilariously unpredictable inflexibility of the computer models of mental processes that my doctoral students and I codesign. It helps remind me of the immense subtlety and elusiveness of the human mind."