Re: 'Singularity Realism' - A few thoughts

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Mar 14 2004 - 18:26:58 MST

On Mar 11, 2004, at 5:08 AM, Mark Waser wrote:

>> Creating
>> a new workable language and proving its viability is hard. I don't
>> believe FLARE ever gained enough momentum to achieve this. I for one
>> saw nothing terribly compelling or necessary about the language. It
>> was not some huge boon to AI programming in general. IMHO, it was a
>> needless distraction.
> I disagree. XML is now pretty much THE premiere data language
> with a
> lot of programming infrastructure, utilities, and, very importantly,
> standards already created to support it.

You made a point for my position. XML is a "data language".
Attempting to build a general purpose language on top of it is an
attempt to make it what it was never intended to be. A language is
trivially an arrangement of data but not in any very interesting way.
The types of graphs of inter-relationships in computer programs do not
lend themselves well to the basically hierarchical nature of XML.
Real computer languages are much richer than that.

> An XML-based programming language,
> which allows programs to be EASILY treated as data and which would
> build on
> all of the XML infrastructure already in place, would be a HUGE boon to
> programs that look to analyze and improve their own programming. AI
> lost a
> lot when LISP, etc. pretty much fell off of the map.

Lisp did not "fall off the map". It is still a quite good language and
has the advantage of already being well-developed with working
optimizing compilers. Any new language has quite a curve of
development before it can come close to what lisp offered over a decade
(some would say two decades) ago.

> Someone once said that the level of civilization is determined by
> what
> you can do without thinking (i.e. the level of infrastructure and
> common
> standards). A well-accepted XML-based programming language will be a
> increase to the existing infrastructure.

No, it will not. It will be an abomination if it every gets off the

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:46 MDT