Artificial Dreams: The Quest for Non-Biological Intelligence

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 21, 2008 - Psychology
This book is a critique of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the perspective of cognitive science – it seeks to examine what we have learned about human cognition from AI successes and failures. The book's goal is to separate those 'AI dreams' that either have been or could be realized from those that are constructed through discourse and are unrealizable. AI research has advanced many areas that are intellectually compelling and holds great promise for advances in science, engineering, and practical systems. After the 1980s, however, the field has often struggled to deliver widely on these promises. This book breaks new ground by analyzing how some of the driving dreams of people practicing AI research become valued contributions, while others devolve into unrealized and unrealizable projects.

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

An ambitious, philosophy-ish critique of artificial intelligence, the various approaches to which Ekbia divides into the categories of supercomputing, cybernetic, knowledge-intensive, case-based ... Read full review

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This book did an excellent job at articulating and critically examining the underlying assumptions behind the major approaches to AI. Ekbia did an excellent job at explaining the motivations of each approach and the major obstacles faced by that approach. By the end of the book, the reader has a good intuitive sense of the big picture of AI, where we are and what the main challenges we face. I learned a great deal from the book and strongly recommend it to those who are interested in AI.  

Selected pages


Prologue Perennial Dreams
The Origins of AI
Supercomputing AI
Cybernetic AI
KnowledgeIntensive AI
CaseBased AI
Connectionist AI
Dynamical AI
Epilogue Democritus Atomic Dream
Appendix A Minimax and AlphaBeta Pruning
Appendix B An Introduction to Connectionism
Appendix C The Language Acquisition Debate
Author index
Subject Index

Neorobotic AI
Analogical AI

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Page 245 - Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.
Page 219 - Here then is the only expedient, from which we can hope for success in our philosophical researches, to leave the tedious lingering method, which we have hitherto followed, and instead of taking now and then a castle or village on the frontier, to march up directly to the capital or center of these sciences, to human nature itself: which being once masters of, we may every where else hope for an easy victory.
Page 359 - The three laws of robotics 1 . A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.
Page 36 - In fact, the historicity of our existence entails that prejudices, in the literal sense of the word, constitute the initial directedness of our whole ability to experience. Prejudices are biases of our openness to...
Page 64 - By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.
Page 360 - A frame is a data-structure for representing a stereotyped situation, like being in a certain kind of living room, or going to a child's birthday party. Attached to each frame are several kinds of information. Some of this information is about how to use the frame. Some is about what one can expect to happen next. Some is about what to do if these expectations are not confirmed.
Page 260 - ... Artificial Life', is the study of man-made systems that exhibit behaviors characteristic of natural living systems. It complements the traditional biological sciences concerned with the analysis of living organisms by attempting to synthesize life-like behaviors within computers and other artificial media. By extending the empirical foundation upon which biology is based beyond the carbon-chain life that has evolved on Earth, Artificial Life can contribute to theoretical biology by locating life-as-we-know-i...
Page 315 - memories," we say that these machines store and retrieve "information," they "solve problems," "prove theorems," etc. Apparently, one is dealing here with quite intelligent chaps, and there are even some attempts made to design an AIQ, an "artificial intelligence quotient" to carry over into this new field of "artificial intelligence" with efficacy and authority the...
Page 29 - Heuristic Search Hypothesis. The solutions to problems are represented as symbol structures. A physical symbol system exercises its intelligence in problem solving by search — that is, by generating and progressively modifying symbol structures until it produces a solution structure.
Page 6 - It seems to me that the historical analysis of scientific discourse should, in the last resort, be subject, not to a theory of the knowing subject, but rather to a theory of discursive practice.

About the author (2008)

H.R. Ekbia is associate professor of information science and cognitive science at Indiana University, where he is also affiliated with the School of Informatics. Initially trained as an engineer, Ekbia switched his focus to study cognitive science in order to pursue a lifelong interest in the workings of the human mind. To get a deeper understanding of the questions that AI research and writing posed but hastily tackled, Ekbia in turn began to focus on the philosophy of science and science studies, through which he discovered novel ways of thinking about science, technology, and the human mind. This broad intellectual background is well reflected in Ekbia writings, which range over a diverse set of topics on the human mind, machines, and the mediated interactions between the two. Ekbia has taught extensively in the areas of computer science, information science, and cognitive science. He currently teaches human-computer interaction and social informatics at the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University.

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