Re: What's going on this decade?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Aug 08 2006 - 19:20:53 MDT

About the supposed lameness of the present decade...


Well, the early 2000's is when I first created a truly viable design
for an Artificial General Intelligence ;-)

Also, among many other things...

Estimation of Distribution Algorithms, fusing probability theory and
evolutionary programming, became prominent and practical [spurred by
Pelikan's PhD thesis]

Viable automated NL translation via statistical methods became
possible (due to Google...)

Real quantum computers have been constructed -- we're up to 12 qubits now

Evolutionary quantum computers have been designed and simulated (see
some nice papers by Hugo de Garis; and a book by Lee Spector; and I
gave a talk on this at a MITRE workshop earlier this year)

The use of machine learning methods to discover biomarkers became
viable, and very common (based on SNP data, microarray data, etc.)

BitTorrent !!!

I could go on and on but I won't.... There has been plenty of nice
stuff in the 2000's.... Yes, much of it had its roots in the 90's;
but much of the stuff you attribute to the 90's had its roots in the
80's too...

-- Ben

On 8/8/06, Philip Goetz <> wrote:
> I'm archiving a bunch of articles from the 1990s, and remembering how
> exciting that decade was. We had a lot of new ideas about AI
> architectures, such as situated activity, hybrid architectures,
> dynamical-systems architectures; not to mention the continuing fallout
> from the 1980s over connectionism and reactive behavior. We had
> reinforcement learning, latent semantic analysis, statistical natural
> language processing, wavelets, and hidden Markov models for the first
> decent speech recognition. We had people trying to deal with action
> selection and attention in cognitive archtectures for the first time.
> We had functional MRI, brain function localization, and the decoding
> of population representations, temporal spike train coding, and
> chaotic basins of attraction in the brain. We had decent compression
> for the first time - gzip and MPEG. We had genetic algorithms,
> genetic programming, nonlinear science, self-organizing systems, "the
> edge of chaos", artificial life, virtual reality, the World Wide Web,
> Linux and open-source, developed the theory of quantum computers, had
> the first nanocomputer designs, solved the first tough problems with
> biocomputers. We also developed most of the transhumanist ideas that
> we're still playing with today.
> I could list a lot of things from the 1980s, also. But I can't think
> of much that was kicked off in this decade that's as exciting as any
> of the things I just mentioned from the 1990s. Support vector
> machines? Blogs? Web services? Greasemonkey? Micropayments?
> Outsourcing? That's all I can think of at the moment. Am I getting
> old? Am I out of the loop? What's going on out there? I can't even
> think of any new movements in science fiction from the 2000s.
> There are some exciting things in other fields - genome sequencing
> (developed in the 1990s), RNA interference, gene therapy (largely
> 1990s also), microarray protein expression analysis - but I can't
> think of much in AI/comp sci/math that excites me lately.
> Perhaps this is because I left the university in 1997 and went to work
> in industry - but, I never found out about any of those exciting
> things from my university classes anyway, so that explanation doesn't
> satisfy me.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:57 MDT