Re: Failure of AI so far

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 13:51:17 MDT

> >
> > I wonder why it is that government funding has
> been so much more effective
> > in biomedical areas than in AI.
> Looks pretty obvious to me. Biomedical areas have
> plenty of obvious,
> useful, fruitful angles of approach. Throw money at
> AI and the
> researchers just bounce off the problem.

I would attribute it to the hardware capability
(<1 Gflop until recently) relative to the estimated
required capability (100 Tflops and up). This
bears about the relationship of a medium model
rocket to the Saturn V moon rocket.

Using my own workplace, the Space Station software
test lab, as an example of a government funded
computer lab, we have about $100K of equipment per
person. So a well-funded AI project with half a
dozen people (my guess at how large such a project
would be today) might afford $600K in computers.

This will buy you at present about 2.5 Tflops in
a commodity cluster type setup. So in the next
few years I expect to start seeing some real progress
in AI research because the hardware is starting
to get powerful enough.

in the software development group.

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