Researchers examines the true state of artificial intelligence

Nov 12, 2012
The true state of artificial intelligence
The Blue Brain Project is an attempt by Swiss scientists to create a synthetic brain. According to some, its set to achieve artificial intelligence by 2018. Credit: iStock

Artificial Intelligence has come a long way since the invention of the programmable digital computer in the 1940s, but its ability to ever simulate human intelligence remains debatable.

Dr Kevin Korb from Monash University's Clayton School of Information Technology will be discussing what stage (AI) has reached in his upcoming lecture 'A history of Artificial Intelligence: AI as a degenerating scientific research program'.

"The goal of AI as a discipline is to produce AI as an artefact, and the motivations for that are many and diverse," Dr Korb said.

"One motive that is both powerful and pervasive is to better understand ourselves, and what we are made of intellectually."

British mathematician Alan Turing, widely considered the father of both science and artificial intelligence, discussed the question of whether machines could think in his 1950 paper, ' and Intelligence'.

"Since that time many thousands have worked on one aspect or another of the AI research program and it has achieved a great many things, but where is the AI?" Dr Korb said.

Three answers have been prominent in the debates around AI, according to Dr Korb.

"The first possibility is that AI is, was, and always will be brain dead. American philosopher Hubert Dreyfus argues that traditional AI – using rules, symbols and data structures – cannot possibly simulate ," Dr Korb said.

"The second possibility is AI is coming, and, indeed, it's almost here. It needs only another decade or two to put simulation within our grasp, at which point the evolution of humanity will be overtaken and absorbed by the evolution of our .

"The final possibility is if an AI is to ever be achieved, it will require a long-term, collective effort of a lot of scientists over many generations."

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More information: Dr Korb will defend one of these answers at his talk, which is part of the 'History of Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and Technology' lecture series, organised by Dr Alan Dorin from the Monash Faculty of Information Technology.

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User comments : 5

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1.5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2012
Using HMM math, multi-core computer chips, and hierarchical pattern recognition, we already have strong AI. On the other hand, if you define AI by the Turning test, where a computer program can best fool a person into thinking it is human, then we are years away. The point of the Singularity is that strong AI will start teaching us.
1.5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2012
IMHO it was always naive to expect Human level AI without Human level processing power, which even now is probably only just in range eg 100PFLOPS level
2.5 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2012
Even a bio-mechanical molecular understanding of the human brain and sufficient understanding and definitions (for the brain) are necessary for AI.

There are no adequate or complete expressions to interpret 'learning' or 'memory', for example.

Language falls short again.
2 / 5 (8) Nov 18, 2012
American philosopher Hubert Dreyfus argues that traditional AI – using rules, symbols and data structures – cannot possibly simulate human intelligence,"

He is correct imo. The use of traditional computing for AI was based on happenstance availability, and so such arbitrariness resulted in unfounded presumptions wrt how the mind could actually be simulated.

Simulating the mind beyond the outdated and simplistic standards of "fooling some observer", requires first an understanding of how the mind actually functions, after which, 'simulations' will represent understanding, rather than just rudimentary guessing.
not rated yet Dec 06, 2012
2018 eh? It's a moving target because it cannot be achieved. I guess Bailey's limit "No being can create a greater being" has to be amended to "No being can create an equal or greater being."

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