RE: Simplifying AI

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Apr 02 2002 - 22:41:45 MST

Hi James,

Good to hear from you!! it's been a while...

> > 1) A (we hope!) passably efficient way to do "linguistic
> feature structure
> > unification" (a kind of language parsing) as a case of general logical
> > unification... this basically eliminates a separate NLP module,
> reducing it
> > to a set of special parameter settings for general cognition
> methods... as
> > it should be...
> I've had good luck taking this approach to NLP, although it is too early
> to say how good that luck actually is. This makes sense in theory, but
> it really taxes the (human) mind when trying to analyze how this would
> work in excruciating detail.

Linguistics is mind-numbing in its recondite details. Analyzing the details
is useful for the insight it gives you into the *nature* of linguistic
processing. But, ultimately, I doubt it's necessary or advisable to build
specialized linguistic processing modes into a Real AI.

I note that Cassio (Novamente's lead software architect) disagrees with me
on this: he thinks the brain probably has a lot of specialized linguistic
wiring (there's some evidence for this), and that we'll have to do some
significant specialization of Novamente cognition for linguistics. I hope
he's wrong!!

> If we consider the human brain as a model, it is clear that limited
> specialization of functionality at the lower levels must be true, at
> least in the sense that it is one way to do it. The human mind is an
> extraordinarily complex construct built upon a very small number of
> primitives. I don't think the primitives themselves are particularly
> important beyond the fact that they can be put together efficiently to
> support the basic functional structures.

I'm not sure if you're referring to "mind primitives" or "brain primitives"

If "brain", then I'm not sure I agree. There are hundreds of
neurotransmitters and dozens of types of neurons... and lots of subtle
chemistry. Not that few primitives really...

If "mind" then I'm curious what you think the primitives of mind are!!!

> Operating a startup has never been conducive to
> having lots of free time... :-)

ya think???

ben g

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