Artificial intelligence is among the most consequential issues facing humanity, yet much of today's commentary has been less than intelligent: awe-struck, credulous, apocalyptic, uncomprehending. Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis, experts in human and machine intelligence, lucidly explain what today's AI can and cannot do, and point the way to systems that are less A and more I. When I was a child I saw "2001: A Space Odyssey" and then read everything I could about A.I. All the smart people said it was 20 years away. Twenty years later I was an adult and the smart people said that A.I. was 20 years away.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged from relative dormancy to a worldwide renaissance--fueled by significant investments and arousing interest across nearly all sectors and industries. Amid this global ground swell of enthusiasm, a few voices are going against popular opinion, and are calling for a reboot. Robust.AI CEO Gary Marcus and NYU professor of computer science Ernest Davis, sound a warning bell for AI in their book Rebooting AI, released in September 2019. Gary Marcus is a modern-day polymath. He is a cognitive scientist, successful technology entrepreneur, prolific author, keynote speaker, professor emeritus at New York University (NYU), juggler, unicyclist and erstwhile guitarist who literally wrote the book on it with his bestseller Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age.
It's been 7 years since my first interview with Gary Marcus and I felt it's time to catch up. Gary is the youngest Professor Emeritus at NYU and I wanted to get his contrarian views on the major things that have happened in AI as well as those that haven't happened. Prof. Marcus is an interesting interviewee not only because he is an expert in the field but also because he is a skeptic on the current approaches and progress towards Artificial General Intelligence but an optimist that we will eventually figure it all out. I can honestly say that I have learned a lot from Gary and hope that you will too. During this 90 min interview with Gary Marcus we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: Gary's interest in the human mind, natural and artificial intelligence; Deep Mind's victory in Go and what it does and doesn't mean for AGI; the need for Rebooting AI; trusting AI and the AI chasms; Asimov's Laws and Bostrom's paper-clip-maximizing AI; the Turing Test and Ray Kurzweil's singularity timeline; Mastering Go Without Human Knowledge; closed vs open systems; Chomsky, Minsky and Ferrucci on AGI; the limits of deep learning and the myth of the master algorithm; the problem of defining (artificial) intelligence; human and machine consciousness; the team behind and the mission of Robust AI.
Yoshua Bengio is recognized as one of the world's leading experts in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in deep learning. Yoshua Bengio's profound influence on the evolution of our society is undeniable. In 2017, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2018, he was is the computer scientist who collected the largest number of new citations in the world. In 2019, he received, jointly with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun, the ACM A.M. Turing Award -- "the Nobel Prize of Computing" -- for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs.
The book Rebooting AI explains why a different approach other than deep learning is needed to unlock the potential of AI. Authors Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis propose that AI programs will have to have a large body of knowledge about the world in general, represented symbolically. Some of the basic elements of that knowledge should be built in. InfoQ readers can read excerpts of Rebooting AI to get an impression of the book. InfoQ interviewed Marcus and Davis about the state of the practice of AI and main concerns, the limitations of deep learning and their suggestion for bringing "common sense" to machine learning, what's needed to make AI safe and trustworthy, and what they expect AI can bring us in the near future and what will take a longer time.