Artificial intelligence can't yet learn common sense


Machines can learn a lot of things--probably more than you can imagine. But can they learn common sense? At his company, Elemental Cognition, Ferrucci described how his AI team gave an advanced language program the sentence, "Zoey moves her plant to a sunny window. The AI program was tasked to complete the second sentence. In the real world, it's common knowledge that plants need light. Unfortunately, the AI program couldn't deliver this common observation. Instead, the AI completed the sentence by analyzing statistical patterns. It came up with these possible answers: "she finds something, not pleasant," "fertilizer is visible in the window," and "another plant is missing from the bedroom." This story is an entry point to myriad "common sense" issues that face today's AI. "Solving this problem is, we would argue, the single most important step towards taking AI to the next level.

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