[ExI] Watson On Jeopardy.

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 07:24:22 UTC 2011

On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 6:13 PM, Richard Loosemore <rpwl at lightlink.com> wrote:
> Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> Show me the beef!
> So demanding, some people.  ;-)

I wouldn't be so demanding if you acknowledged the good work of
others, even if it is just a "parlor trick".

> If you have read McClelland and Rumelhart's two-volume "Parallel Distributed
> Processing",

I have read volume 1 (a long time ago), but not volume 2.

> and if you have then read my papers, and if you are still so
> much in the dark that the only thing you can say is "I haven't seen anything
> in your papers that rise to the level of computer science" then, well...

Your papers talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk as far as I
can tell. There is not a single instance where you say, "And using
this technique we can distinguish pictures of cats from pictures of
dogs" or "This method leads to differentiating between the works of
Bach and Mozart." Or even the ability to answer the question "What do
grasshoppers eat?"

> (And, in any case, my answer to John Clark was as facetious as his question
> was silly.)

Sidebar: I have found that humor and facetiousness don't work well on
mailing lists.

> At this stage, what you can get is a general picture of the background
> theory.  That is readily obtainable if you have a good knowledge of (a)
> computer science,


> (b) cognitive psychology

Eh, so so.

> and (c) complex systems.

Like the space shuttle?

> It also
> helps, as I say, to be familiar with what was going on in those PDP books.

Like I said, I read the first volume of that book a long time ago (I
think I have a copy downstairs), nevertheless, I have a decent grasp
of neural networks, relaxation, simulated annealing, pattern
recognition, multidimensional search spaces, statistical and Bayesian
approaches, computer vision, character recognition (published), search
trees in traditional AI and massively parallel architectures. I'm not
entirely unaware of various theories of philosophy and religion. I am
weak in natural language processing, traditional databases, and sound

> Do you have a fairly detailed knowledge of all three of these areas?

Fair to middling, although my knowledge is a little outdated. I'm not
tremendously worried about that since I used a text book written in
the late 1950s when I took pattern recognition in 1986 and you refer
to a book published in the late 1980s... I kind of get the idea that
progress is fairly slow in these areas except that now we have better
hardware on which to run the old algorithms.

> Do you understand where McClelland and Rumelhart were coming from when they
> talked about the relaxation of weak constraints, and about how a lot of
> cognition seemed to make more sense when couched in those terms?

Yes, this makes a lot of sense. I don't see how it relates directly to
your work. I actually like what you have to say about short vs. long
term memory, I think that's a useful way of looking at things. The
short term or "working" memory that uses symbols vs the long term
memory that work in a more subconscious way is very interesting stuff
to ponder.

> Do you
> also follow the line of reasoning that interprets M & R's subsequent pursuit
> of non-complex models as a mistake?

Afraid you lose me here.

> And the implication that there is a
> class of systems that are as yet unexplored, doing what they did but using a
> complex approach?

Still lost, but willing to listen.

> Put all these pieces together and we have the basis for a dialog.
> But ...  demanding a finished AGI as an essential precondition for behaving
> in a mature way toward the work I have already published...?  I don't think
> so.  :-)

If I have treated you in an immature way, I apologize. I just think
arguing that four years of work and millions of dollars worth of
research being classified as "trivial" when 10,000,000 lines of
actually working code is not a strong position to come from.

I am an Agilista. I value working code over big ideas. So while I
acknowledge that you have some interesting big ideas, it escapes me
how you are going to bridge the gap to achieve a notable result. Maybe
it is clear to you, but if it is, you should publish something a
little more concrete, IMHO.


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