NSG/ Meeting Announcement (fwd)

From: Eugene Leitl (Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 11:41:10 MDT

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204/">leitl</a>
ICBMTO : N48 10'07'' E011 33'53'' http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 12:56:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: Fred Hapgood <fhapgood@world.std.com>
Reply-To: nsg@europe.std.com
To: nsg@world.std.com
Subject: NSG/ Meeting Announcement

Meeting notice: The 01.07.03 meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Royal
East (782 Main St., Cambridge), a block down from the corner of Main St.
and Mass Ave. If you're new and can't recognize us, ask the manager. He'll
probably know where we are. More details below.


Suggested topic: Massively Distributed Artificial Intelligence

AI can be sorted into three levels: recognition of primitives, recognition
of wholes, and the retrieval or inference of properties associated with
those wholes. Examples might be recognizing edges or planes (or phonemes);
connecting (or seperating) those edges in order to reveal a table or a
horse, and retrieving or inferring the properties relevant to a potential
interaction with that table or horse.

Of these the third task is the most important, in that no subtype of AI can
possibly get far with skills in this department. One approach to the
problem is Doug Lenat's CYC project in Austin, in which a fixed number of
smart programmers work for decades on building a properties database. This
approach has the defect that every real object has an infinite number of
properties that cannot be calculated from a subset of its other properties.
There is no way of generating the price of a product, or its history or
function (often), from its physical properties, and vice versa. Thus a
serious AI program has to know what it is ignorant about, be able to search
for the appropriate value, recognize and retrieve it if it exists, or come
up with a WAG if it does not. It has to be learning constantly. The model
of depending on a small number of supersmart coders to hammer the
properties in one by one does not seem to scale to the requirements of the

What would appear to be needed is a standard ontology format that accepts a
very wide range of knowledge types. For instance, an automation tool, on
being told that a given story was set in 1957, should be able to send out a
call for a number of cultural objects -- cars, houses, fashions, makeup,
dances, conversational tropes, body language -- appropriate to that time.
To pick a topic closer to our interest, when we tell an assembler to design
a material we would want it to know the latest science, the best prices,
the most interesting application possibilities for a material of that sort,
and so on.

It is hard for me to see how the depth of information envisaged can be
reached unless everyone uses the format routinely for their own purposes
and then makes their efforts generally available. (Essentially, everyone
becomes a volunteer for CYC 2.0.) The latter might be acceptable, but the
former seems like a real speed bump, since it is hard to think of any
formatting procedure that would do what we want it to do without being so
inconvenient that it would drive people away.



In twenty years half the population of Europe will have visited the moon.

                                -- Jules Verne, 1865


Announcement Archive:



"NSG" expands to Nanotechnology Study Group. The Group meets on
the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the above address,
which refers to a restaurant located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:41 MDT