Artificial Intelligence: What We Hoped For & What We’ve Gotten


Michael C. Daconta of GCN recently wrote, "Over the last year, several developments on the artificial intelligence (AI) front have occurred that reflect our wildest fantasies and worst fears for this technology.  Here are a few examples: A battle continues to rage between MIT linguist Noam Chomsky and Google Director of Research Peter Norvig over the increased use of statistics and probability in AI.  Chomsky argued that the 'new AI' is merely mimicking behavior instead of unraveling the rules and processes of cognition.  On the other hand, Norvig takes a more practical, probabilistic approach, believing in AI’s suitability for natural language processing, for instance. Last month, CNBC reported that inventor Elon Musk and physicist Stephen Hawking expressed concerns about the future of AI, suggesting that there are dangers in the fledging AI market.  They made it easy to surmise they fear a Robopocalypse caused by AI run amok!"


Daconta continues, "Of course these events portend neither apocalypse nor nirvana. Instead, they are a solid demonstration of the continued evolution of AI.   This week, a article described the success of 'niche AI' applications like the one that schedules the massive Hong Kong subway system and another that sorts passport applications.  I believe modern approaches to AI will be like these niche apps. In other words, we will use probability to match a formal model to a current problem so we can execute rules or other cognitive processes. Applying AI techniques to enterprise applications is also becoming more commonplace with business rule management systems via tools like JBOSS BRMS, ontology development via tools like protégé and other semantic Web platforms."


Read more here.


Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Saad Faruque