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It has been predicted that such a computer will be able to communicate in natural spoken language with its user; store vast knowledge databases; search rapidly through these databases, making intelligent inferences and drawing logical conclusions; and process images and see objects in the way that humans do.
In 1981 Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry launched a ten-year project to build the first fifth-generation computer, the parallel inference machine, consisting of over a thousand microprocessors operating in parallel with each other. By 1992, however, the project was behind schedule and had only produced 256-processor modules. It has since been suggested that research into other technologies, such as neural networks, may present more promising approaches to artificial intelligence. Compare earlier computer generations.