Marvin Minsky on the Failure of AI

Posted 8 Jun 2001 at 14:08 UTC by steve Share This

Dr. Dobb's has put up the full text (as well as video and audio versions) of the recent lecture by Marvin Minsky entitled, It's 2001. Where's HAL that he gave at the 2001 Game Developers Conference. It contains a lot of interesting thoughts on where AI developers have gone wrong and how we can get things back on track. The audience Q & A session is also included. Definitely worth a read.

Robotics coursework, posted 14 Jun 2001 at 18:51 UTC by Maxim » (Apprentice)

Did you catch the part about the "simulation people" and robotics? The part that I found cool is:

"All over the world there are probably 40 thousand students working on making stupid little physical robots with their programming. Nothing seems ever to be learned from this. [...] I'm very angry at a professor who would ask a student to. Because in the 10 or 15 years since 1980, maybe there have been 3 or 4 interesting discoveries. People will tell you we've discovered that you have to make the limbs compliant or they won't work. That was known in the '70s. Tell me something else that you've learned from building a physical robot, and I'll tell you someone in the 1970s who wrote a big paper on that. So the student is wasting a whole year or three soldering connections and working with bad components."

I recall that robotics projects at engineering departments are usually useful (although I know a place where no students wanted to take a project to develop for a RoboCup soccer team, probably considering it too tough of a task). Soldering and programming teaches engineers to build complete systems. The bad part are those projects which have large hardware systems without any innovative mechanics and are doomed to never be practically useful. Unfortunately lots of projects are like this.

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