Much has been written about the development of artificial intelligence; NO, not the Dubya WMD deception- but computer generated response to stimuli. The brilliant computer pioneer Alan Turing proposed a test (which bears his name) that states a machine (i.e., computer) will be considered intelligent if it can answer questions put to it in a manner indistinguishable from those given by a human.
There is much controversy surrounding this field, many say that it will never be fully realized, others say that it is only a matter of time.
I say it has already happened, and it is already on most computers and browsers, right after that G in its little box. Of course, I'm talking about Google. The beauty of it is not that it is a precise index of facts, but is that it can be vague, off the mark at times, and other times surprising with an accuracy that can be frightening. Just like a human brain! It might lack a bit in language parsing ability right now, but that will change, and soon. When further refinements to context and meaning develop, things will get very interesting, especially in the area of foreign languages and translation.
There are other browsers (MSN, AOL), of course. They seem to be cruder and more subject to erroneous returns. In some respects they are even MORE human, it seems as if they have sex or other sex-related terms in all of their responses - does Bill Gates have a dirty mind?