[extropy-chat] Re: Any progress towards AI at all?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 16:51:23 UTC 2005

On 10/14/05, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> This work is just getting started.  Most of the major problems I'm
> interested in are not solvable in current formal frameworks even with
> unbounded computing power (generally due to indefinite recursion).

See NYT: Behind Artificial Intelligence, a Squadron of Bright Real People

Published: October 14, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12 - The five robots that successfully navigated a
132-mile course in the Nevada desert last weekend demonstrated the
re-emergence of artificial intelligence, a technology field that for
decades has overpromised and underdelivered.

The ability of the vehicles to complete a complex everyday task -
driving - underscores how artificial intelligence may at last be
moving beyond the research laboratory.

While artificial intelligence technology is already in use in
telephone answering systems with speech recognition and in popular
household gadgets like the iRobot vacuum cleaner, none of the existing
systems have been as ambitious as Darpa's Grand Challenge road race.

This leap was possible, in large part, because researchers are moving
from an approach that relied principally on logic and rule-based
systems to more probability or statistics-oriented software

Until recently, progress in artificial intelligence lagged so far
behind computing technology that some in the field talked about an
"A.I. winter," after commercial and government funding evaporated in
the mid-1980's.

Now there is talk about an A.I. spring among researchers like
Sebastian Thrun, the director of the Stanford lab.

"The amount of journalistic interest and investor interest has
fluctuated wildly," said John McCarthy, a pioneer in the field and now
professor emeritus in the computer science department at Stanford
University. "A.I. has continued all along, thanks to the interest
among researchers and the continued support of government agencies,
especially Darpa."

The enthusiasm is already spreading. Researchers point out that an
obvious and powerful application for A.I. technology is in automobile
safety systems.

"Any time you create a technology that has the potential of saving
20,000 to 30,000 lives in a year, one has to sit up and take notice,"
said Raj Reddy, a professor of computer science and robotics at
Carnegie Mellon University. "If you look at automotive accidents in
the United States, the repair bill is about $55 billion each year."


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