Thursday, August 27, 2009

Really Powerful AI: how close is YOUR system?

I read a lot about AI. Many people think AI is, one day, possibly soon, going to achieve a level of competency such that it will revolutionise the planet and destabilise humanity as the only intelligent force. Some people point to a number of identifiable trends in computing, usually trends in computing power, and claim this indicates a progression towards that stage.

Some such people are crackpots, while others are insightful individuals with the knowledge and experience that they should know what they are talking about -- certainly well enough to give a valid and sensible opinion.

However, I suspect that many people aren't directly working on a system which demonstrates such capability or promise.

So here's my question to anyone working in AI (or any related area). How close is the system that you personally work on, right now, to demonstrating the kind of ability which would contribute significantly towards an independent, thinking machine?