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Letting HAL Learn

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Date: Mar 31, 2010 - 02:34 PM
Coming to you from MIT, a "grand unified theory" of artificial intelligence... which will still never beat real stupidity.

As a research tool, Goodman has developed a computer programming language called Church ? after the great American logician Alonzo Church ? that, like the early AI languages, includes rules of inference. But those rules are probabilistic. Told that the cassowary is a bird, a program written in Church might conclude that cassowaries can probably fly. But if the program was then told that cassowaries can weigh almost 200 pounds, it might revise its initial probability estimate, concluding that, actually, cassowaries probably can?t fly.

?With probabilistic reasoning, you get all that structure for free,? Goodman says
Hooked into a properly powerful computer, it could conceivably develop self-awareness, reach "I think therefore I am", and derive the existence of rice pudding and income tax before getting bored and starting to play games a lot like this one...



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