Is it possible for a machine to think like that of a human? Since the "A Space Odyssey" release in 2001, people have been wondering if this were ever possible. With the advent of technology, machines that come with artificial intelligence have become possible and who knows what else technology can give birth to. 

A team of researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) believes that is it possible for a machine to have human-like intelligence, but they think the idea is still far fetched from reality. However, the team published their new paper in  the American Naturalist exploring how it is possible for computers to undergo an evolution in their learning patterns just like how natural organisms. Their study involves the implications for many fields which covers artificial intelligence too. 

"Every living organism is somehow equipped with intelligence that allows them to undergo some kind of learning. Perhaps the only downside is that people are yet to discover how their learning patterns have evolved over time. Now, we now have the capacity to witness the unfolding of such learning through virtual space," Anselmo Pontes said, lead researcher and researcher on Computer Science from MSU. 

"An understanding of how the evolution of intelligence works means learning how the other fields such as education, psychology, and neuroscience work. It also supplies us with clues on how the brain processes information to help us build robots that could mimic the human experience perfecting how humans do what they do and why they do it."

"The findings of this study have a huge potential," said Fred Dyer, co-author and integrative biology professor at the MSU. "What we are trying to do is to untangle the very process of how human cognition came to be, because we want to use it to shape the future." 

The goal is to understand the origins of how people think to be able to develop robots that can eventually learn how a task is done instead of bing programmed to do a task. The initial results of the study show an evolution of associative learning in an artificial organism that didn't come with a brain.

"Our inspiration was how animals learned to navigate the environments by learning landmarks," Pontes said. "During laboratory experiments, the bees were able to associate colors and shapes with directions, that allowed them to navigate through the environment as a complex space. 

"The evolution that happens naturally may take a long time to study," Pontes said. "However, a revolution is similar to that of an algorithm, so it can easily be replicated by a computer. All that we have to do is to figure out how that's done."