Unthinking Machines

May 4, 2011 | Source: Technology Review

Artificial intelligence needs a reboot, according to experts at MIT’s Brains, Minds, and Machines symposium, calling for a return to the style of research that marked the early years of the field, one driven more by curiosity rather than narrow applications.

Patrick Winston, director of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997, blamed the stagnation in part on the decline in funding after the end of the Cold War and on early attempts to commercialize AI, and on specialities such as neural networks or genetic algorithms.

Noam Chomsky derided researchers in machine learning who use purely statistical methods to produce behavior that mimics something in the world, but who don’t try to understand the meaning of that behavior.