New York - Robots will be smarter than the most intelligent humans within the next 15 years, Google’s engineering head has predicted.

Computers will soon be able to learn from experience, tell jokes and even flirt, according to Ray Kurzweil, the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) expert.

Google has spent billions of its £57bn fortune quietly buying up the world’s top robotics companies, including DeepMind, a British company which specialises in machine learning.

Privacy campaigners have long attacked Google for hoovering up users’ personal information and selling it to advertisers.

But Mr Kurzweil was recruited in 2012 to improve Google’s AI – with the aim of the search engine understanding what we are looking for better than we do.

He said: “My project is ultimately to base search on really understanding what the language means. When you write an article, you’re not creating an interesting collection of words.

“You have something to say and Google is devoted to intelligently organising and processing the world’s information.

“The message in your article is information, and the computers are not picking up on that.

“So we would want them to read everything on the web and every page of every book, then be able to engage in intelligent dialogue with the user to be able to answer their questions.” - Daily Mail