"The Future of Artificial Intelligence"

Robert Owen (rowen@technologist.com)
Sat, 16 Oct 1999 18:31:41 -0400

NOTE: What follows is the "Summary" of this cautious estimation. Links are provided after the text for further investigation. Author Dr. Humphrys is currently a Lecturer at the School for Computer Applications, Dublin City University. The paper was published in "New Scientist" and presented at the Conference "Computing and IT"; Chairperson: Dr John Naughton, Wolfson College . [RMO]



                               Dr. Mark Humphrys
                             University of Edinburgh

I've been trying to give an idea of how artificial animals could be useful, but the reason that I'm interested in them is the hope that artificial animals will provide the route to artificial humans. But the latter is not going to happen in our lifetimes (and indeed may never happen, at least not in any straightforward way).

In the coming decades, we shouldn't expect that the human race will become extinct and be replaced by robots. We can expect that classical AI will go on producing more and more sophisticated applications in restricted domains - expert systems, chess programs, Internet agents - but any time we expect common sense we will continue to be disappointed as we have been in the past. At vulnerable points these will continue to be exposed as `blind automata'. Whereas animal-based AI or AL will go on producing stranger and stranger machines, less rationally intelligent but more rounded and whole, in which we will start to feel that there is somebody at home, in a strange animal kind of way. In conclusion, we won't see full AI in our lives, but we should live to get a good feel for whether or not it is possible, and how it could be achieved by our descendants.


Full Text: http://www.compapp.dcu.ie/~humphrys/newsci.html

Website: http://www.compapp.dcu.ie/~humphrys/

Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA