One Man’s Dream of Fusing A.I. With Common Sense

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Artificial intelligence systems can process vast amounts of data in seconds, but they can’t make sense of the world or explain their decisions. David Ferrucci wants to change that.

Steve Lohr in the New York Times: David Ferrucci, who led the team that built IBM’s famed Watson computer, was elated when it beat the best-ever human “Jeopardy!” players in 2011, in a televised triumph for artificial intelligence.

But Dr. Ferrucci understood Watson’s limitations. The system could mine oceans of text, identify word patterns and predict likely answers at lightning speed. Yet the technology had no semblance of understanding, no human-style common sense, no path of reasoning to explain why it reached a decision.

Eleven years later, despite enormous advances, the most powerful A.I. systems still have those limitations.

Today, Dr. Ferrucci is the chief executive of Elemental Cognition, a start-up that seeks to address A.I.’s shortcomings. “To me, the Watson project was always a small part of a bigger story of where we want to go with A.I.,” he said.

The final word aim, in Dr. Ferrucci’s view, is that A.I. turns into a trusted “thought accomplice,” a talented collaborator at work and at dwelling, making strategies and explaining them.

Elemental Cognition, based in 2015, is taking measured steps towards that aim with a promising, although unproven, hybrid strategy. Its system combines the most recent developments in machine studying with a web page from the A.I.’s previous, software program modeled after human reasoning…

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“It’s an incredible financial savings in time,” stated Aditya Kalyanpur, director of A.I. analysis on the start-up…

The massive, so-called deep studying packages have conquered duties like picture and speech recognition, and new variations may even pen speeches, write laptop packages and have conversations…

“It’s good engineering,” stated Andrew Hickl, a managing director and A.I. skilled at Accenture, a big know-how consulting agency. “And I do suppose the most effective techniques sooner or later will likely be people who take a hybrid strategy”…

“It’s an early, revolutionary effort that’s counter-cultural in A.I. in the meanwhile,” as a result of a lot latest progress in A.I. has come from machine studying, stated Oren Etzioni, chief government of the Allen Institute for Synthetic Intelligence…

Dr. Ferrucci concedes that superior machine studying — the dominant path pursued by the large tech corporations and well-funded analysis facilities — might someday overcome its shortcomings. However he’s skeptical from an engineering perspective. These techniques, he stated, are usually not made with the objectives of transparency and producing rational selections that may be defined.

“The massive query is how will we design the A.I. that we wish,” Dr. Ferrucci stated. “To try this, I feel we have to step out of the machine-learning field.” Read the full article here >

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Honorary contributors to DesPardes: Ajaz Ahmed, Ammar Jafri, Anwar Abbas, Arif Mirza, Aziz Ahmed, Bawar Tawfik, Dr. Razzak Ladha, G. R. Baloch, Jamil Usman, Jawed Ahmed, Ishaq Saqi, Khalid Sharif, Masroor Ali, Md. Ahmed, Md. Najibullah, Shahbaz Ali, Shahid Nayeem, Syed Hamza Gilani.