RE: Taking AI seriously (was: DGI Paper)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon May 06 2002 - 07:39:16 MDT

> Giving several generic stepwise problem-solving
> algorithms a
> common representation is certainly not a trivial design problem, but it is
> still a design problem which is much easier than the functional
> decomposition of general intelligence into interdependent, internally
> specialized subsystems.

As you know we have an approach to that, apparently one that you don't like.
We have a design involving a number of benfunctionally specialized "units"
each of which has its own mix of MindAgents with special parameter values.

My own feeling is that the "functional specialization" design problem is
actually a bit easier than the "get various learning methods to work
together" design problem.

Again, different intuitions. Time and experimentation will tell.

> And my continuing project is to get you to disgorge these experiences, or
> just some of the highlights, in a sufficiently concrete form that they are
> useful to a next generation of cognitive scientists who are
> looking at them
> through the lens of other theories.

Well, right now, the Webmind AI Engine IP is owned by somebody else, so
there's no chance we're going to write up a bunch of stuff describing our
experiences with it.

All in all, we're more inclined to spend our time working on the new system
than describing our experiences with the old.

In not too long, we'll have new stories to tell about Novamente (rather than
Webmind), which we'll be quite eager to share with all.

> Perhaps my memory is tricking me, but I think that if you look through the
> list archives of SL4, you will find that I have never once said, on SL4 or
> in any other public forum, that Novamente was an AI-go-splat
> debacle in the
> making, until after I'd read the Novamente manuscript. Because my memory
> says that I was very careful not to say this until I'd posted a review of
> your system and given you a chance to defend it. Just FYI.

You are correct, prior to reading the manuscript you expressed your
skepticism in a much more mild way.

Since reading the manuscript however, you have expressed this opinion quite
a few times!!

In my opinion, an adequate number of times that everyone knows your


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