On Wednesday 03 October 2007 09:37:58 pm, Mike Tintner wrote:

> I disagree also re how much has been done.  I don't think AGI - correct me - 
has solved a single creative problem - e.g. creativity - unprogrammed 
adaptivity - drawing analogies - visual object recognition - NLP - concepts -  
creating an emotional system - general learning - embodied/ grounded 
knowledge - visual/sensory thinking.- every dimension in short 
of "imagination". (Yes, vast creativity has gone into narrow AI, but that's 

Ah, the Lorelei sings so sweetly. That's what happened to AI in the 80's -- it 
went off chasing "human-level performance" at specific tasks, which requires 
a completely different mindset (and something of a different toolset) than 
solving the general AI problem. To repeat a previous letter, solving 
particular problems is engineering, but AI needed science.

There are, however, several subproblems that may need to be solved to make a 
general AI work. General learning is surely one of them. I happen to think 
that analogy-making is another. But there has been a significant amount of 
basic research done on these areas. 21st century AI, even narrow AI, looks 
very different from say 80's expert systems. Lots of new techniques that work 
a lot better. Some of them require big iron, some don't.

Research in analogy-making is slow -- I can only think of Gentner and 
Hofstadter and their groups as major movers. We don't have a solid theory of 
analogy yet (structure-mapping to the contrary notwithstanding). It's clearly 
central, and so I don't understand why more people aren't working on it. 
(btw: anytime you're doing anything that even smells like subgraph 
isomorphism, big iron is your friend.)

One main reason I support the development of AGI as a serious subfield is not 
that I think any specific approach here is likely to work (even mine), but 
that there is a willingness to experiment and a tolerance for new and 
odd-sounding ideas that spells a renaissance of science in AI.


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