Machine learning systems are more advanced than they ever have been, but a critical component is still missing: machine common sense. Machine common sense is "the basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things that are shared by nearly all people and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without need for debate." DARPA believes that possessing this knowledge could significantly advance the relationship between humans and machines, but encoding this capability is a difficult task. "The absence of common sense prevents an intelligent system from understanding its world, communicating naturally with people, behaving reasonably in unforeseen situations, and learning from new experiences," said Dave Gunning, a program manager in DARPA's Information Innovation Office (I2O). "This absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general AI applications we would like to create in the future."
This paper summarizes some of the technical background, research ideas, and possible development strategies for achieving machine common sense. Machine common sense has long been a critical-but-missing component of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Recent advances in machine learning have resulted in new AI capabilities, but in all of these applications, machine reasoning is narrow and highly specialized. Developers must carefully train or program systems for every situation. General commonsense reasoning remains elusive. The absence of common sense prevents intelligent systems from understanding their world, behaving reasonably in unforeseen situations, communicating naturally with people, and learning from new experiences. Its absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general, human-like AI systems we would like to build in the future. Machine common sense remains a broad, potentially unbounded problem in AI. There are a wide range of strategies that could be employed to make progress on this difficult challenge. This paper discusses two diverse strategies for focusing development on two different machine commonsense services: (1) a service that learns from experience, like a child, to construct computational models that mimic the core domains of child cognition for objects (intuitive physics), agents (intentional actors), and places (spatial navigation); and (2) service that learns from reading the Web, like a research librarian, to construct a commonsense knowledge repository capable of answering natural language and image-based questions about commonsense phenomena.
The US military is chasing a'third wave' of artificial intelligence (AI) that will see robots endowed with the basic common sense of a 10-year-old child. Its research branch the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is calling for researchers to breed a new type of AI that can solve complex problems. The goal is to build AI that can'communicate more effectively with people' and'understand new situations' better than any previous machines. The project, called The Machine Common Sense Program, is part of a $2 billion investment in AI by Darpa - the military research branch that pioneered the internet. The US military is chasing a'third wave' of artificial intelligence that will see robots endowed with common sense.
It can identify objects in a fraction of a second, imitate the human voice and recommend new music, but most machine "intelligence" lacks the most basic understanding of everyday objects and actions -- in other words, common sense. DARPA is teaming up with the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to see about changing that. The Machine Common Sense program aims to both define the problem and engender progress on it, though no one is expecting this to be "solved" in a year or two. But if AI is to escape the prison of the hyper-specific niches where it works well, it's going to need to grow a brain that does more than execute a classification task at great speed. "The absence of common sense prevents an intelligent system from understanding its world, communicating naturally with people, behaving reasonably in unforeseen situations, and learning from new experiences. This absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general AI applications we would like to create in the future," explained DARPA's Dave Gunning in a press release.
Wherever artificial intelligence is deployed, you will find it has failed in some amusing way. Take the strange errors made by translation algorithms that confuse having someone for dinner with, well, having someone for dinner. But as AI is used in ever more critical situations, such as driving autonomous cars, making medical diagnoses, or drawing life-or-death conclusions from intelligence information, these failures will no longer be a laughing matter. That's why DARPA, the research arm of the US military, is addressing AI's most basic flaw: it has zero common sense. "Common sense is the dark matter of artificial intelligence," says Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, a research nonprofit based in Seattle that is exploring the limits of the technology.