Date: Wed Sep 07 2005 - 18:05:24 MDT
J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
> On 9/7/05 7:12 AM, "Richard Loosemore" <email@example.com> wrote:
>>I was in the middle of my Ph.D. thesis (in AI/Psychology) in 1992 when I
>>finally realised that the systems I wanted to build *could not* be built
>>without incredibly sophisticated tools. I stopped work and switched
>>careers to become a software engineer for a while, with the aim of
>>finding out just what kind of tools would be needed.
> This is a phase most people go through at some point in their AI career, a
> cheap belief that makes it easy to avoid doing hard work.
So that's why I stopped: I was afraid of hard work. Darn.
> How do you know that current tools are terribly inadequate or that
> incredibly sophisticated tools are required if you are incapable of even
> specifying the engineering problem they need to solve?
How to you know I *didn't* specify the engineering problem?
> Now, it may yet turn out that some uber-tool is required that we have not
> thought of, but until you specify the problem you are going to use the tools
> to solve you won't be able to prove it nor make useful progress on
> developing a helpful tool. I am personally doubtful that such a tool is
> missing. If it can't be done with a C compiler (not that you necessarily
> would want to), it can't be done at all. Most of what is missing in the
> software world is nice integration and the implementation convenience of "do
> what I mean, not what I say", which largely amounts to a sugary frosting
> layer on the computer science cake.
Prior to starting that AI Ph.D. I had worked long and hard on Inmos
Transputers (do you know what they were? massively parallel hardware with
a novel parallel programming language integrated in the chip design), so my
comments about the difficulty level were based on real world experience of
massively parallel systems.
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