Speaker: Neil Jacobstein

Neil Jacobstein, chairman and CEO of Teknowledge Corporation, spoke in the afternoon of day one of the Singularity Summit 2007. He presented information about where we stand today with AI and where we might be heading in the medium term. Specialized AI applications have existed for a number of years and often outperform humans. Jacobstein did not think there was one true path to AGI.

The value in AI today consists of augmenting and replacing human skills. AI is often delivered with other components in a technology package, usually with a browser and/or Web 2.0 standards included. A study of AI solutions presented to date suggest a few things that have not worked so well with AI, including high maintenance requirements and costs, poor integration with mainstream applications (as opposed to the specialized nature of most AI packages today), and limited learning capability (most information must be entered by human operators.)

Some of the things that have worked with AI so far including real world testing and experimentation (these packages have moved out of the lab and into the real world), the ability to solve specific problems, and integration with statistics, optimization, and simulation solutions.

Today the web is undergoing evolution into Semantic Web Services, where common standards and applications provide an interface into AI. With this rise of the Semantic Web, Jacobstein sees the introduction of AI web agents and a shift from human-to-machine interactions to primarily machine-to-machine interactions.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.