Science

If I Only Had Brain

Posted 24 Jun 2008 at 14:52 UTC by steve Share This

A NetworkWorld article looks at artificial intelligence (AI) and ponders what happened to it. In 1965 Herber Simon said AI was 20 years away. In 1967 Marvin Minsky said it was one generation away. So where it is? Self aware, learning, thinking, feeling machines have turned out to be a lot harder to build than anyone thought (in part because understanding natural intelligence has taken a lot longer than anyone thought). Instead AI has become a marketing term used to describe random product features. Does your phone support voice recognition? Let's call that AI! Does your web site say "if you like this movie, you'll probably like these too"? Let's call that AI! The article notes that even the Marriott hotel's kitchen scheduling software claims to be "AI". So, next time your little robot bumps into a wall, don't feel bad. It's probably closer to the true meaning of artificial intelligence than anything else going by that label!


"Robots that bump into walls", posted 24 Jun 2008 at 17:37 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

I didn't say it, but I got lots of ridicule for saying the phrase "robots that bump into walls" by a certain person is a robotics club. I still believe in the phrase. It's the sad state of personal robotics. The best AI we can muster right now is just not the AI people expect/want when they think if "real" AI no matter how much bit banging that is done. But I guess I became famous as the one who says "robots that bump into walls" and ridiculed because I should appreciate the robots that bump into walls as really cool things. I said that phrase probably 20 year ago and I'm still haunted by it today. Yet even today, the state of affairs in robotic AI has really not progressed much. We still are blissfully impressed by robots that bump into walls when we shouldn't settle for anything less than real cognitive thinking machines. I remember those cars where you drop in a program cam/cog and it would do a figure 8 or some other pattern. I'd still say we are not much better than that when all we have to show is robots that can follow a wall or a line or can perhaps grope and fumble around and try to pick up a can. Robots running such basic punched tape type programs are really basic beginner ai stuff that can barely be called ai. You'd think in the age of laptop bots we could come up with something better than the old days limited mcu tinker board stuff. Ah the good old days. Alas I wish I had time to play with laptops and AI so I'm not really helping the state of ai either. But I can gripe and complain about it probably at least as good as the article does. shrug.

Conspiracy Theory, posted 25 Jun 2008 at 06:59 UTC by horar » (Journeyer)

Maybe there's something the pundits all missed...

Suppose that the kind of artificial intelligence that so many of us dream about still being alive to see one day has already happened. The chances of such technology being shown publicly and made available to everyone are quite remote.

Such a thing would be sequestered and hidden away by a certain paranoid military regime, or one of its satellite agencies with a three letter acronym for a name, faster than you could say "ET" or "efficient algorithm for factoring very large numbers".

Personally I don't believe any of those things have happened, but I do believe that even if they did, it would be many decades before ordinay people would be allowed to benefit from them.

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