Sunday, August 7, 2005

Emotional Talk

I attended AAAI last month and was on vacation so that is my excuse for zero posts last month.  A few of my posts in August will discuss the conference.  This is the first of them and it is a discussion of Marvin Minsky's keynote address.

There were two main themes of his address one was a discussion of his upcoming book, The Emotion Machine, hence the title of this blog entry.  You can find the first eight chapters of the new book by going to his main web site.  He also recommends reading Push Singh's Ph.D. thesis which can be found on Push's web page here.  I will provide some commentary on both of these over the next few months, but wanted to provide you with the references immediately,

The second theme, related to the first was that AI needs to be refocused.  He said that recently AI has gotten Physics Envy, trying to find general methods, but yet most of the programmtic successses in AI, according to Minsky, have more to do with Moore's law (computers became more powerful and could search more) than with advances in AI.   The talk was great, for example, he declared that in AI and psychology Occam's razor is the wrong idea; you are describing a complex system and it is not simple!
To quote from chapter 1 of The Emotion Machine:

So this book will embark on the opposite quest: to find more complex ways to
depict mental events that seem simple at first!

As I said, more discussion on Minsky's ideas will be forthcoming as I read the book.  Just wanted to provide you with more possibilities  to read as you hopefully take to the beaches in August.  Check back, as the Fall term starts getting together I should be posting more frequently -- and catch up posting some of my student's blog entries.   Later!

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