Fifth Generation of Computer with Examples

Although the fourth generation of computers has provided too many benefits to users, still they have one major disadvantage. The major drawback of fourth generation computers is that they have no intelligence on their own.

To overcome this major drawback, scientists and engineers were now trying to make such computers, which would have artificial intelligence.

The period of the fifth generation of computers originated in the 1980s when the Japanese government launched a national initiative called the “Fifth Generation Computer Systems” project.

The aim of this project is to develop a new generation computer that would use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to enable computer machines to understand and interact with humans in a more human-like manner.

This generation of computers describes the latest and most advanced phase of computer technology. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software and natural language processing characterizes it to enable computers to perform complex tasks and interact with humans.

In this generation, scientists had used the advanced ULSI (Ultra Large Scale Integration) chip or technology in the place of VLSI technology. One ULSI chip contains millions of transistors on a single IC chip.

The computers developed in this generation would use an intelligence software. The most important features of this software is to enable the users to tell the computer “what to do” and not “how to do” by using intelligence programming and problem solving techniques.

In this way, the users or programmers would not need to give each and every instruction to the computer to solve a complex problem. All kinds of high-level languages such as C, C++, .Net, Java and more have used in this generation.

Moreover, the computers made in this generation was also had to provide user interface in the form of speech for the natural languages.


Thus, the development of the fifth generation computers was to overcome the limitations of the previous generations and to create more intelligent, adaptable, and user-friendly computing systems.

However, the process of developing the fifth generation computers is still in the research and development phase.

Characteristics of Fifth Generation Computer


Fifth generation computers have the following characteristics that are as follows:

Characteristics of fifth generation computer

(1) Use of Artificial Intelligence: 5th generation of computer can think, behave, and act like humans. This technology is called artificial intelligence.

AI is an emerging branch in computer science, that makes computers more powerful. It represents the ability of computers to perform tasks that typically need human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing speech and images, and making decisions based on data.

Robotics, neural networks, game playing, development of expert systems to make decisions in real-time situations are some examples of the use of AI features.

Expert systems (ES), which are a type of artificial intelligence, can take decisions based on the knowledge and experience of human experts.


Nowadays, AI is increasingly being used in various fields and industries to automate tasks that once needed human intelligence. It can perform tasks such as speech recognition, language translation, image recognition, navigating, browsing, and decision-making.

Here are some of the key areas where AI is being used are as:

  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Education
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing

(2) Parallel Processing: It is another feature of fifth generation computers. Most of the computers today access and execute only one instruction at a time. We call it as serial processing.

A computer using parallel processing can access several instructions at once and perform multiple tasks on them simultaneously using multiple CPUs. This advanced technology has made it possible to develop supercomputers that can process complex calculations and simulations in real-time.

(3) Natural Language Processing: Engineers designed the fifth generation of computers to understand and respond to human language. In this generation, they have used natural language processing technology that enables computers to interpret human language and generate responses that are natural and conversational.

(4) Quantum Computing: 5th generation computers has designed to use quantum computing technology, which uses quantum mechanics to process information.

Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize computing by enabling computers to perform tasks that are currently impossible. This technology is still in its early stages of research and development but has the potential to transform computing in the future.

(5) Connectivity: Engineers have designed 5th generation computers to be highly connected to the internet and other devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a significant feature of fifth generation computing, enabling devices to communicate with each other and exchange information in real-time.

(6) Robotics: In many industries, robots are being increasingly common, including manufacturing and healthcare. The 5th generation of computer has made it possible to develop robots that can do tasks that were once thought to be impossible.

Some other key features or characteristics of 5th generation of computers are as follows:

(7) In 5th generation computer, engineers have used ultra large scale integration circuits (ULSI). Millions of components packed on a single chip.

(8) Computers made in this generation referred to as supercomputers. They have very large storage capacity and are extremely fast. CRAY CS300 series is an example of a supercomputer.

(9) They are very small and much cheaper than the previous generations of computers.

(10) They consume very little power as compared to previous generations.

(11) Computers made in this generation are more portable and powerful than previous generations.

(12) Desktop computers are straightforward to operate, while mainframe computers are much faster and extremely efficient.

Examples of Fifth Generation Computers


IBM’s Watson is an example of the fifth generation computer, which uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand and respond to human language. In 2011, Watson got fame when it competed on the quiz show Jeopardy! against two former champions and emerged victorious.


Watson has the capability to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently using parallel processing technology. It can analyze data from various sources, including text, images, videos, insights and recommendations based on that data. It is being used in various fields, including healthcare, finance, education, etc.

In healthcare, doctors are using Watson to diagnose and treat diseases more accurately and quickly. It can analyze patient using data, such as medical records, images, and provide recommended treatment options based on that data. Watson is also being used to developing new drugs and treatments by analyzing large amounts of research data.

In finance, Watson is being used to analyzing financial data and offer recommendations for investment decisions. It has the ability to identify patterns and trends in financial data, helping manage risk by predicting market fluctuations and identifying potential opportunities.

In education, Watson is helping to personalize learning experiences for students. It analyzes student data to identify areas for improvement and offer the targeted instruction to students.

Other Examples of 5th Generation Computer

(1) Google DeepMind AlphaGo is another example of the fifth generation computer, whose design is based on the machine learning system to play the game of Go.

It has the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence in solving complex problems. For example, AlphaGo has used in protein folding to predict the 3D structure of proteins, which is a complex problem in biochemistry.

(2) Autonomous vehicles, such as self-driving cars, rely on advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, to navigate roads and make decisions in real-time. They use a combination of cameras, sensors, and data to analyze and respond to their environment.

(3) Virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, use natural language processing and artificial intelligence technologies to understand and respond to user queries. They can perform tasks such as setting reminders, making appointments, and playing music, all via voice commands.

(4) Robotics is another field where fifth generation computers are making significant strides. Robots are being used in various areas, including manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture. They perform tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans, such as assembling cars or performing surgeries.

Advantage of Fifth Generation Computer


Fifth generation computers use ULSI technology that provides several advantages over previous generations, even if they are still in the development phase. Here are some of the key advantages:

(1) Fifth generation computers designed to process vast amounts of data at an incredibly high speed, making them suitable for handling complex tasks quickly and efficiently.

(2) These computers have equipped with advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities that allow them to learn and improve their performance over time. This enables them to perform tasks that were previously impossible or required human intervention.

(3) Engineers developed them to perform tasks with a high level of accuracy and precision, reducing the risk of errors or mistakes. It is especially useful in fields such as healthcare, where accuracy is critical.

(4) Computers developed in this generation have intuitive user interfaces that make them easy to use and operate, even for non-technical users. This feature is crucial as it allows more people to take benefit of the technology.

(5) These computers have equipped with advanced security features that protect against cyber threats and unauthorized access. This is especially crucial in today’s digital world, where cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

(6) Fifth generation computers can perform tasks faster and more efficiently than previous generations. They can increase productivity and reduce costs.

(7) AI technology used in these computers understands human language as well as recognize graphs and pictures.

(8) We can easily carry these computers from one place to another and to repair them.

Disadvantage of Fifth Generation of Computer


Although fifth generation computers offer several advantages, they also have some disadvantages. Here are some of the key disadvantages:

(1) Fifth generation computers are expensive to develop and build, which makes them less accessible for smaller businesses and organizations.

(2) These computers are highly complex, which can make them difficult to understand and use for non-technical users.

(3) They are highly dependent on advanced technology, which can be a disadvantage if there is a technical malfunction or error.

(4) The fifth generation of computer are designed to perform tasks that were previously done by humans, which can lead to job displacement in certain industries.

AI can replace their jobs in the future from which unemployment can increase in the world. In these situations, people should be able to gain knowledge of new technologies and not be afraid of them.

(5) These computers are vulnerable to cyber threats, which can compromise sensitive data and lead to privacy violations.

(6) 5th generation computers rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence, which can lack the human judgment and decision-making skills that are essential in certain industries.

Comparative Features of various Generations of Computers


(1) First generation computers: 1940 – 1956

  • Characteristics:
    • Large in size
    • Generate a large amount of heat
    • Consume a lot of electricity
    • Unreliable
    • Very slow operating speed
    • Very low programming capacity
    • Used machine language
  • Hardware used:
    • Vacuum tubes and magnetic tapes
  • Examples:
    • MARK-I, UNIVAC, ENIAC, EDVAC

(2) Second generation computers: 1956-1963

  • Characteristics:
    • More reliable
    • Faster
    • Smaller in size
    • More energy-efficient
    • Consume less power and radiate less heat as compared to the first generation.
    • Very costly
    • Used assembly language
  • Hardware used:
    • Transistors replaced the vacuum tubes
    • Punched cards
  • Examples:
    • IBM-1400, RCA-501, CDC-1604, HONEYWELL-200

(3) Third generation computers: 1964-1975

  • Characteristics:
    • More reliable
    • Faster
    • Smaller in size
    • Consume less power and radiate less heat as compared to previous generations.
    • Lesser maintenance needed
    • Low cost
    • High-level languages like FORTRAN and COBOL used.
  • Hardware used:
    • Integrated circuits (several transistors integrated on a single chip)
    • Magnetic disks
  • Examples:
    • IBM system 360, PDP-8, PDP-11

(4) Fourth generation computers: 1976-1989

  • Characteristics:
    • A multipurpose computer
    • Very fast operating speed
    • Cost became cheaper than previous generations.
    • Portable and reliable
    • Very small in size
    • Consumed lesser power
  • Hardware used:
    • Microprocessor (thousands of transistors on a single chip)
    • High capacity magnetic disks
  • Examples:
    • Modern day PcS, Laptops, Palmtops

(5) Fifth generation computers: 1989-present

  • Characteristics
    • Ultra large scale integration (ULSI) circuits
    • Millions of components packed on a single chip.
    • Designed based on artificial intelligence and algorithm that makes computers think like human beings.
    • Very powerful
    • Extremely fast
    • Very small and much cheaper than previous generations computers.
    • Consume very little power
  • Hardware used:
    • Artificial intelligence
  • Examples:
    • CRAY CS300 series

Summary of fifth generation computers:

  • Evolution: 1990-till date
  • Technology: ULSI chip, parallel processing
  • Programming language: LISP, Prolog
  • Memory: Fastest semiconductor chip (RAM)
  • Storage: Hard disk, optical disk, flash memory

In this tutorial, you have known about the fifth generation of computers with examples. I hope that you will have understood the basic points of 5th generation and enjoyed this tutorial.
Thanks for reading!!!