Vernor Vinge, a retired San Diego State University professor, claims that after 2020 artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence:
When intelligent machines finally appear, what will they look like?
Most likely they will be less visible than computers are now. They would mostly operate via the networks and the processors built into the ordinary machines of our everyday life. On the other hand, the results of their behaviour could be very spectacular changes in our physical world. (One exception: mobile robots, even before the Singularity, will probably become very impressive -- with devices that are more agile and coordinated than human athletes, even in open-field situations.)
How would we be certain about its conscience?
The hope and the peril is that these creatures would be our "mind children". As with any child, there is a question of how moral they may grow up to be, and yet there is good reason for hope. (Of course, the peril is that these particular children are much more powerful than natural ones.)
Read on at ComputerWorld.