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Re: [ontolog-forum] Watson's Wed. win by simple look-up questions

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 11:14:37 -0500
Message-id: <4D628F6D.9070303@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 2/20/2011 7:03 PM, Ronald Stamper wrote:
> I'm not sure that John S is right saying, in effect, that AI with any
> other name would smell as sweet.    (01)

I didn't say that.  I said that I also had quibbles about the name.
But I also said that such discussions aren't worth arguing about.    (02)

> A community of professionals  who believe they can devise machines
> with more intelligence than members of other professions may be
> tempted to feel a trifle superior than their fellows, whose opinions
> they may, therefore, safely ignore.    (03)

On the contrary, the name AI probably did more harm than good.  As I
said in a previous note, I majored in math as an undergraduate at MIT.
Some of my friends were taking courses in AI, but I thought that the
field was "flaky".    (04)

I didn't take Minsky's AI course until later, when I was a grad
student at Harvard and cross-registered to take it at MIT.    (05)

> When Japan began to invest heavily in their 5th Generation Program, AI
> smelled very sweet to funding bodies and it began to cream off the
> funding from research in other directions.  Journalists smell the
> perfume of AI at a great distance every time a new potential AI wonder
> is envisaged.  5G gave them a feast.    (06)

It was boom and bust.    (07)

During the early 1980s, AI was a hot topic, and a lot of companies
pasted the AI label on their products.  When some of the early
promises failed to produce results, those same companies denied
that there was any AI in their systems.    (08)

In 1987, the 5G project hosted a US-Japan AI conference in Tokyo.
But it was pitiful.  Their hard-wired Prolog machine was overtaken
by the mass-produced chips, which gave better performance at much
lower cost.  The same was true in the US.  The LISP machines of
the late 1970s and early '80s lost out to the mass produced chips.    (09)

Even today, the Semantic Webbers say that the SW is not AI.
My reply is "Yes. It's just a tiny subset of AI."    (010)

I remember a cartoon from way back (unfortunately I don't have a copy):    (011)

  1. It showed a large machine with complicated parts.    (012)

  2, On the top was a funnel with input labeled "Raw Hype".    (013)

  3. One the right were neat packages coming out labeled "Pure Hype".    (014)

That's true of every field.  I recommend Sunday's Dilbert cartoon:    (015)

    http://www.dilbert.com/fast/    (016)

Click Sunday 20 on the calendar.    (017)

John    (018)

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