David Ferrucci, the man who built IBM's Jeopardy-playing machine, Watson, is explaining a children's story to his new creation. In the tale, Fernando and Zoey buy some plants. Fernando places his plant on a windowsill while Zoey tucks hers away in a darkened room. After a few days, Fernando's plant is green and healthy but the leaves of Zoey's have browned. She moves her plant to the windowsill, and it flourishes.
Dr. David Ferrucci is one of the few people who have created a benchmark in the history of AI because when IBM Watson won Jeopardy we reached a milestone many thought impossible. I was very privileged to have Ferrucci on my podcast in early 2012 when we spent an hour on Watson's intricacies and importance. Well, it's been almost 8 years since our original conversation and it was time to catch up with David to talk about the things that have happened in the world of AI, the things that didn't happen but were supposed to, and our present and future in relation to Artificial Intelligence. All in all, I was super excited to have Ferrucci back on my podcast and hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. During this 90 min interview with David Ferffucci, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his perspective on IBM Watson; AI, hype and human cognition; benchmarks on the singularity timeline; his move away from IBM to the biggest hedge fund in the world; Elemental Cognition and its goals, mission and architecture; Noam Chomsky and Marvin Minsky's skepticism of Watson; deductive, inductive and abductive learning; leading and managing from the architecture down; Black Box vs Open Box AI; CLARA – Collaborative Learning and Reading Agent and the best and worst applications thereof; the importance of meaning and whether AI can be the source of it; whether AI is the greatest danger humanity is facing today; why technology is a magnifying mirror; why the world is transformed by asking questions.
Things are going insanely well for people in computer science. I mean, our work is everywhere. Nearly every process imaginable is powered by a machine at the middle. The computer has transformed communication, retail, how we access information and how we navigate around the world. Things are even better in A.I. We are at the beginning of a renaissance of interest and utilization of intelligent systems in an ever-widening sphere of influence.
Although artificial intelligence (AI) has made great strides in recent years, it still struggles to provide useful guidance about unstructured events in the physical or social world. In short, computer programs lack common sense. "Think of it as the tens of millions of rules of thumb about how the world works that are almost never explicitly communicated," said Doug Lenat of Cycorp, in Austin, TX. Beyond these implicit rules, though, commonsense systems need to make proper deductions from them and from other, explicit statements, he said. "If you are unable to do logical reasoning, then you don't have common sense."
Give us your feedback Thank you for your feedback. Artificial intelligence is one of the important technological advances of the early 21st century. Already it has meant that machines can read medical images as well as a radiologist, and enabled the auto industry to develop autonomous cars. The te...