Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Computers versus Common Sense

Google TechTalks May 30, 2006 Douglas Lenat Dr. Douglas Lenat is the President and CEO of Cycorp. Since 1984, he and his team have been constructing, experimenting with, and applying a broad real world knowledge base and reasoning engine, collectively "Cyc". Dr. Lenat was a professor of computer science at Carnegie-Mellon University and at Stanford University. His interest and experience in national security has led him to regularly consult for several U.S. agencies and the White House. ABSTRACT It's way past 2001 now, where the heck is HAL? For several decades now we've had high hopes for computers amplifying our mental abilities not just giving us access to relevant stored information, but answering our complex, contextual questions. Even applications like human-level unrestricted speech understanding continue to dangle close but just out of reach. What's been holding AI up? The short answer is that while computers make fine idiot savants, they lack common sense: the millions of pieces of general knowledge we all share, and fall back on as needed, to cope with the rough edges of the real world. I will talk about how that situation is changing, finally, and what the timetable -- and the path -- realistically are on achieving Artificial Intelligence.

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