RE: Failure of AI so far

From: Stephen Reed (
Date: Fri May 23 2003 - 10:55:13 MDT

On Thu, 22 May 2003, Gary Miller wrote:

> >> The computer assets per AI worker are on the order of $2,000,
> >> adjusting for depreciation. Typical CPU is the AMD 2000+, and
> >> desktop computers average about one year old, with the power users
> >> receiving a new computer each year.
> Stephen in your opinion, what percent faster would your workers be able
> to complete their jobs if their systems were 10 times faster?

I've been at Cycorp about 4 years and during that time my own desktop
performance has increased by a factor of six. I expect that our
programming productivity is about 20% faster due to CPU speed. But our
ontological engineering productivity is about twice as much due to the
increase in CPU speed, as the Cyc KB is CPU bound and its performance
directly increases with CPU performance.

> I would assume their productivity would not increase a 1000% also?


> I keep hearing people say just because the systems will be faster that
> this
> will have a major impact on making making FAI occur faster.

Here I disagree because Cyc cannot yet improve itself, Cyc cannot yet
learn from reading. If these happen however, then faster CPUs will make a
larger difference for Cycorp.

> My intuition tell me this is not correct, since when I double the power
> of my
> CPU I am lucky if my productivity increases by more than 6 or 7 percent
> and I
> Am using my machine for AI research also!

In general, faster computers will foster more ambitious applications per
dollar spent on software development and deployment. So the components
from which FAI can be constructed will become more capable given much
faster computers, as there will be more off-the-shelf components
available. I would expect Bayesian libraries, decision theory libraries,
natural language understanding libraries - all to be more plentiful and
capable given much faster computers, because of the economic possibility
to deploy them.


Stephen L. Reed                  phone:  512.342.4036
Cycorp, Suite 100                  fax:  512.342.4040
3721 Executive Center Drive      email:
Austin, TX 78731                   web:
         download OpenCyc at

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