RE: Augmenting humans is a better way

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 05:38:49 MDT


> I don't have to examine the Webmind design or code because no one can in
> fact define exactly what Real AI is. You can't compare to something that
> has no definition! That's my point. We don't have any idea of what Real
> AI looks like, and as such can't make any accurate statements
> about how to
> create one much less how long that will take.

Our first goal is to create a program that can hold an intelligent
conversation with humans about topics that it knows about. It appears the
first version will know about financial markets and genetic and proteomic
data, for instance. "intelligent conversation" is a qualitative assessment
which doesn't mean "precisely human-like conversation", but, it can be
specified fairly precisely. I'll post something defining what I mean by
this in a few weeks when I post a general document on milestones and
benchmarks for would-be AI systems.

Once real communication between a human and an AI is established, then we
can move toward the next major goal which is having the system progressively
improve its own intelligence through self-modification.

> I know that researchers have been able to interface devices with the
> nervous system. There is a vision system that can take a camera
> image and
> directly stimulates the optic nerve to produce rudimentary vision in some
> blind people. Thus giving blind people real-time vision (albeit
> of a very
> low resolution currently). So we can say that their has been success in
> neural interfaces. On the other hand, as far as I know, no one has ever
> created a working general AI of any order. Webmind/Biomind may
> be the most
> advanced in that field but if I remember correctly they have
> never run the
> system as a whole. So I'd be tempted to say that, at the moment,
> research
> into neural interfaces seems further along than research into AI.

I guess this is a silly debate. Both fields are at a relatively primitive
stage, far from achieving their end goals. Is super-low-res vision closer
to real brain-enhancement than Deep Blue and EURISKO are to real AI? Who
was the greater President, Lincoln or Washington or FDR? Who's a cuter
French actress, Julie Delpy or Juliette Binoche?

-- ben g

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