Tuesday, 27 May 2008

AI Founder Blasts Modern Research

"AI has been brain-dead since the 1970s," said AI guru Marvin Minsky in a recent speech at Boston University. Minsky co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in 1959 with John McCarthy.

His argument is that researchers are concentrating on useless robots instead of the crucial common sense reasoning research. He commented that only one researcher has committed himself to the colossal task of building a comprehensive common-sense reasoning system, according to Minsky. Douglas Lenat, through his Cyc project, has directed the line-by-line entry of more than 1 million rules into a commonsense knowledge base.

But we cannot blame the researchers as the AI field is vast and miracles cannot happen in seconds. Infact there is much hype of AI, that it will do this, it will do that in few coming years. AI field in interlinked with all kinds of domains like from philosophy to physics and from Computer Science to Cognitive Science, and coordinating is difficult and this needs more interdisciplinary researchers.

Why this title?

Though the title appears a bit odd to some people, it is not at all surprising to those who know Lewis Carroll (who do you think wrote 'Alice in Wonderland'?). He used the two characters to discuss very subtle philosophical issues in a very humourous way. These characters also got more popular as they appeared in Hofstadter's 'Godel, Esher and Bach' book. Most of the postings in this blog will be broadly in Computing, Artificial Intelligence, cognitive Science, philosophy, psychology etc etc.