News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Speaker: Barney Pell


Barney Pell, founder and CEO of Powerset, a semantic search engine set to launch this month, spoke about the paths toward AGI. He emphasized that most AI research has not been devoted to general intelligence, due to a variety of reasons.

What framework will be required for the development of AGI? Pell suggested that we are in a fundamentally different stage of AI development, where success in the industry can eventually drive further funding and development. While the industry has until now been focused on expert systems and vertical markets, the industry is rapidly transitioning to more general solutions.

Regarding Powerset, Pell said the company is developing conversational user interfaces and natural language search capabilities. They expect to read and parse every single sentence on the web, while allowing people to interact with the results using natural language.

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