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Can computers be smarter than humans?

Artificial intelligence is getting more and more advanced, so I'm wondering if computers will eventually be smarter than humans. When do you think it'll happen? How will our society look after machines surpass human intelligence?

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    Nov 3 2011: To clarify my question on what it means to be smart, I mean that the computer would be able to do many things that humans can do. For example, having the same learning abilities as humans, or doing scientific research. Although computers are already doing them to some degree, they are not "smart" enough to beat humans yet.

    Of course, there are already many tasks that computers can do better than humans, but for now, they are usually repetitive tasks involving large amounts of data.
  • Oct 31 2011: If you define "smarter" as winning then computers are "smarter" than chess professionals.
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    Oct 24 2011: Depends how you define "being smarter"
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    Oct 24 2011: Intelligence is the ability to solve any problem fast and efficient without causing new ones as a result.
    Did you ever see one computer with a problem?
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      Oct 24 2011: This is a good point you're making. Computers only have people-imposed problems, right? If we don't count in Hal9000 and his sensitivity :). I think whoever or whatever lacks emotions wouldn't have problems in the way you seem to define "a problem" - correct me if I'm wrong but your question seems to imply that "a problem" is some kind of conflict-causing situation of emotional origin?
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        Oct 24 2011: Exactly so, Ivana.
        People have desires to begin with the will to live and to love.
        We experience joy from beauty that inspires us to explore the heights and depths of life.
        To achieve our goals we have to solve problems or create problems that needs to be solved.
        The computer is a tool to make calculations faster as other devices help us to see farther or nearer, to hear over a distance and all that. All this are to see as extensions of the senses and in the same way you can see the computer as an extension of the mind.
        It has no desire for it has no soul.
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    Oct 24 2011: yes computers can be smarter than some humans and no they cant be smarter than some humans :)
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    Oct 24 2011: The singularity is near - book

    The Matrix - movie