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Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.?

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Sören Schwertfeger finished his postdoctorate research on autonomous robots in Germany, and seemed set to go to Europe or the United States, where artificial intelligence was pioneered and established. China, which for years watched enviously as the West invented the software and the chips powering today's digital age, has become a major player in artificial intelligence, what some think may be the most important technology of the future. Experts widely believe China is only a step behind the United States. Beijing is backing its artificial intelligence push with vast sums of money.

Op-Ed Contributor: Social Media Is Making Us Dumber. Here's Exhibit A.

NYT > Home Page

This week, a video surfaced of a Harvard professor, Steven Pinker, which appeared to show him lauding members of a racist movement. The clip, which was pulled from a November event at Harvard put on by Spiked magazine, showed Mr. Pinker referring to "the often highly literate, highly intelligent people who gravitate to the alt-right" and calling them "internet savvy" and "media savvy." The neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website ran an article headlined, in part, "Harvard Jew Professor Admits the Alt-Right Is Right About Everything." A tweet of the video published by the self-described "Right-Wing Rabble-Rouser" Alex Witoslawski got hundreds of retweets, including one from the white-nationalist leader Richard Spencer. "Steven Pinker has long been a darling of the white supremacist'alt-right,'" noted the lefty journalist Ben Norton.

The Great AI Paradox

MIT Technology Review

You've probably heard versions of each of the following ideas. With computers becoming remarkably adept at driving, understanding speech, and other tasks, more jobs could soon be automated than society is prepared to handle. This "superintelligence" will largely make human labor unnecessary. In fact, we'd better hope that machines don't eliminate us altogether, either accidentally or on purpose. Even though the first scenario is already under way, it won't necessarily lead to the second one.

Slowly but surely, gains from AI innovation are coming


Each day we read about amazing technology breakthroughs, particularly when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI). But if AI is so great, why are these breathtaking technological achievements not matched with soaring productivity and economic growth? Or, to paraphrase an old jibe: If the economy is so smart, why aren't we all rich? After all, we live among astonishing examples of potentially transformative new technologies that could greatly increase productivity and economic welfare. As noted in the 2014 book, "The Second Machine Age," leaps in AI, machine learning and, more recently in areas such as image recognition, abound.

The Current State Of AI: One Man's Opinion

AI Magazine

General Issues What is AI all about? In general, I see two possible answers to this question. First, AI can be seen as a modern methodological tool now being used in the ancient enterprise of the study of mind. It also usually means getting a machine to do what previously only humans have done before (rather than simply improving existing techniques). There are really only three reasons to "do" izI From the scientific point of view, you should do 2I because you are interested in the mind From the technological point of view, you should do AI because you The dispute between these formalists, and more intuitive researchers, has been referred to by me (elsewhere) as the neat/scruffy distinction.

HEURISTICS: Intelligent Search Strategies f Dr Computer Problem Solving

AI Magazine

To fully appreciate Professor Pearl's book, begin with a careful reading of the title. It is a book about "..Intelligent- ..Strategies.." for the discovery and use of "Heuristics.. " to allow computers to solve ".. Search.. ' ' problems. Search is a critical component in AI programs (Nilsson 1980, Barr and Feigenbaum 1982), and in this sense Pearl's book is a strong contribution to the field of AI. It serves as an excellent reference for the researcher/practitioner and is useful as a textbook as well. As a book about search, it is thorough, at the state of the art, and contains expositions that will delight the expert with their clarity and depth.

On the Other Hand …

AI Magazine

But both history and an understanding of human-machine interaction argue otherwise. Any number of forces may work towards the stratification of society, but the computer is not one of them. Computers, especially intelligent ones, are the great equalizers. Humanity has always recognized that the powers of mind are limited, and has always made devices to compensate for those limitations. Our most obvious cognitive limitation is memory, and writing is a device for storing information outside the head so that it does not have to be remembered.

New Officers for AAAI

AI Magazine

Randy Davis announced the appointment of six new program managers at ARPA. He encouraged individuals to contact these managers to see where they can help. At IJCAI-95, Randall Davis assumed the office of president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Davis is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and associate director of the AI Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Davis succeeds Barbara Grosz, Gordon McKay professor of computer science in the Division of Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

The Simon Newcomb Awards

AI Magazine

We have decided to give an award for the silliest arguments against AI published each year. The Simon Newcomb Awards, as they are called, will be announced here in the AI Magazine. Winners will be presented with a small statue (informally referred to as a'Simon') in a short ceremony at a suitable national gathering. We invite nominations for future awards. He combined a solid confidence in his own reasoning with a disdain for practical experiments. In many ways his arguments are similar to recent attacks on AI. They are short, elegant, convincing to his contemporaries, utterly wrong, and wonderfully silly, displaying an appealing mixture of partial insight with a failure to really comprehend what he was talking about. For example, there was the Stopping Problem argument. "Imagine the proud possessor of the aeroplane," suggested Newcomb sarcastically, "darting through the air at a speed of several hundred feet per second! It is the speed alone that sustains him. How is he ever going to stop?" (Newcomb, 1901). Newcomb intended his question rhetorically, but as everyone now knows, it has a perfectly good answer: "Very carefully." The Simon Newcomb Award will be given in recognition of a similarly silly published argument against AI, especially when the writer's confidence in his views seems to arise from his ignorance of the subject. The ideal candidate is an eminent scientist or scholar in some other field -- for example, a philosopher, sociologist or mathematician -- who clearly fails to grok some basic idea of computer science. While any published argument may be nominated for the prize, the committee gives highest credit to arguments which are not just idiotic, but which use some technical issue in a way that displays some, but not enough, insight. Some argument forms are already judged unacceptable, includthan they are now, or that people would be somehow reduced in status. The award is to be given for a specific argument, so that (just as with the Academy awards) a true star might receive a'Simon' for each of several outstanding performances. We also expect to award the occasional'Lifetime Achievement Award' in recognition of an entire career of silly attacks on the subject. Popular nominees (those supported by several submissions) will be announced at the same time as the Award winners. Those who are nominated but not selected for an Award may take solace in knowing that the nomination itself is a high honor. The nominees for the first Simon Newcomb Award were, Selmer Bringsjord, Harry Collins, Hubert Dreyfus, Gerald Edelman, Walter Freeman, Roger Penrose, Joseph Rychlak, John Searle, and Maurice Wilkes. In the future, only one award will normally be made each year, but for this inaugural occasion, we are proud to announce four winners, in alphabetical order.

Reloading a Human Memory: A New Ethical Question for Artificial Intelligence Technology

AI Magazine

One day a man, who had lost much of his long-term episodic memory, consulted the professor to ask him if there was any way he could help him regain the lost memories. During the previous year, this amnestic man had suffered a stroke in his right cerebral hemisphere. Being righthanded and left-hemisphere specialized for language, he was still able to speak, to read and write: and to understand what was said to him. Besides the usual difficulty in recalling proper names, his main problem involved large gaps in his memory for events that he participated in before the stroke, although he could remember events that occurred after the stroke. For example, many years before his stroke, he had received a high award for an exceptional achievement.