Dobbs article summarizes the last 51 years of AI research and
concludes that AI is on the rise again. After the failure of the
over-hyped attempts to model human intelligence at the symbolic level in
the 1980s, AI research fell into disrepute. The article suggests that
the research is coming back in a more modest form: "AI advances are
not trumpeted as artificial intelligence so much these days, but are
often seen as advances in some other field." The article also
suggests that AI work has moved more toward applied over theoretical
I think the *goal* of artifical intelligence is quite aggressive. But just like eliminating cancer, it's a fine goal to have.
My guess is the average person actually expected, because the field is called artifical inteeligence, that there would be computers-just-like-people in a year or two. I think if we called it Ultimately We'd Like Some Sort of Adaptive Apparent Cognition, it would have fallen flat long before you could finish saying it (and the acronym is pretty painful, too).
So I say we continue to strive for AI, and still be happy with the steps in between.
Indeed, "the balance in AI work seems to be tipped toward applied
over theoretical". But I feel there is an important aspect
fact that deserves more attention. It is the performance
of human consciousness
that has been neglected in AI work.
Human consciousness is the capability to represent
oneself as existing, with the corresponding free will and
to introspect. This key performance of human mind has not
taken into account in AI work so far, be it connectionist
The reason for that may be our lack of understanding of
Only in recent years have we seen a growing interest
towards the field
of artificial consciousness. It can be a good starting
point on this
subject. And it may have an interesting future.
(see for instance http://www.consciousness.it/CAI/CAI.htm)