Re: AI architectures in the 2000s

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Aug 09 2006 - 08:05:15 MDT

On 8/9/06, Philip Goetz <> wrote:
> I'm generalizing largely on the basis of the architectures I saw at
> the AGIRI conference... but would it be fair to call the 2000s the
> decade of the "kitchen sink" AI? Up through the 1990s, you could look
> at an AI architecture, and say, "It's
> rule-based/behavior-based/reactive", or else it would be composed of 2
> or 3 cleanly-separated layers, each being in one of those well-known,
> identifiable architectural genres. Now I find architectures harder to
> classify. It seems people are not putting as much emphasis on finding
> the One True Unifying Principle to create AI.
> What do you think?

Firstly, the "kitchen sink" metaphor is obviously insulting and inaccurate.

The Webmind architecture I created in the late 90's was a bit of a
"kitchen sink" approach, and Stan Franklin's LIDA approach (which I do
respect a lot) has a bit of that flavor as well...

However, Novamente for instance consists of a very carefully chosen
set of components all interoperating using a standardized
probabilistic semantics... it is not at all "kitchen sink"-ish once
you really understand it.

But, let's replace "kitchen sink" with "integrative", thus removing
the insulting tone and encompassing architectures like Novamente that
contain somewhat heterogenous components carefully architected to
operate effectively together via common representations and dynamics.

Then the question is: is there a big bias toward integrative AGI
architectures these days?

I actually think that hypothesis is an overgeneralization based on the
AGIRI workshop, whose participants were largely chosen by me based on
my own taste (which does run toward integrative approaches)

As an example, both Robert Hecht-Nielsen and Jeff Hawkins are
contemporary AI theorists who are selling AGI solutions based on "one
special trick" which they feel they've discovered.... I tend not to
like such approaches that much hence the AGIRI workshop which I
organized did not focus on them ... but they certainly exist and are
being championed by famous people with more financial backing than
anyone who presented at the AGIRI workshop...

-- Ben G

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