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A History of AI
Kevin Korb   Apr 1, 2013   Adam Ford  

‘A history of Artificial Intelligence: AI as a degenerating scientific research program’
The goal of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a discipline is to produce an Artificial Intelligence as an artifact. The motivations for producing an AI are many and diverse. One motive that is powerful and pervasive is to better understand ourselves, what we are made of intellectually. And that may explain why the man who invented computer science, Alan Turing in 1936, shortly thereafter also invented the discipline of Artificial Intelligence, putting the problem in his paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” in 1950. Since that time many thousands have worked on one or another aspect of the AI research program. But has there been progress, or stagnation, or degeneration?

Artificial Intelligence has come a long way since the invention of the programmable digital computer in the 1940s, but its ability to ever simulate human intelligence remains debatable.

Dr Kevin Korb from Monash University’s Clayton School of Information Technology will be discussing what stage artificial intelligence (AI) has reached in his upcoming lecture ‘A history of Artificial Intelligence: AI as a degenerating scientific research program’.
Kevin Korb’s research is in artificial intelligence and the philosophy of science and the interrelation between the two, and especially the automation of scientific induction, or causal discovery. (IT, Monash University)

“The goal of AI as a discipline is to produce AI as an artefact, and the motivations for that are many and diverse,” Dr Korb said.

“One motive that is both powerful and pervasive is to better understand ourselves, and what we are made of intellectually.”

British mathematician Alan Turing, widely considered the father of both computer science and artificial intelligence, discussed the question of whether machines could think in his 1950 paper, ‘Computer Machinery and Intelligence’.

“Since that time many thousands have worked on one aspect or another of the AI research program and it has achieved a great many things, but where is the AI?” Dr Korb said.

Three answers have been prominent in the debates around AI, according to Dr Korb.

“The first possibility is that AI is, was, and always will be brain dead. American philosopher Hubert Dreyfus argues that traditional AI—using rules, symbols and data structures—cannot possibly simulate human intelligence,” Dr Korb said.

“The second possibility is AI is coming, and, indeed, it’s almost here. It needs only another decade or two to put human brain simulation within our grasp, at which point the evolution of humanity will be overtaken and absorbed by the evolution of our artefacts.

“The final possibility is if an AI is to ever be achieved, it will require a long-term, collective effort of a lot of scientists over many generations.”

Dr Korb defends one of these answers in his talk, which is part of the ‘History of Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and Technology’ lecture series, organised by Dr Alan Dorin from the Monash Faculty of Information Technology.

‘A history of Artificial Intelligence: AI as a degenerating scientific research program’ was held on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 in Seminar Room 135, Building 26, at Monash University’s Clayton campus.




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