Monday, January 21, 2008

AI vs AI and the Quantum of the Conversation

This blog post is going to proceed with a fast, bumpy clip. The topics will be:

  1. Reference to a riveting story on dual asynchronous suicides of two pioneers in artificial intelligence.
  2. Where their projects have migrated to after their death.
  3. The Turing Test compared to Shannon's Theory of Information.
  4. Alicebot vs Google. Introducing my phrase :"The Quantum of the Conversation"
  5. My wife's question to me: why is AI so important to you?

Wired magazine has an amazingly well written piece by David Kushner titled Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. What Really Happened?. Not going to repeat the article here, the article does a better job of representing itself. Everything I write in this blog entry assumes you know their work in AI.

McKinstry's Generic Artificial Consciousness (GAC) [pronounced 'jack"] is incorporated into chatbots at Push's project lives on at Reflecting the essence of the project goal, the websites are interactive, full duplex communication for the visitor.

Both the Mindpixel and Open Mind projects pursue some nuance of the Turing Test (1950), building a machine which appears totally human (in language only) to a human interviewer.

Claude Shannon's Mathematical Theory of Information (1948) is an earliest stage of a comprehensive understanding of all communication via statistical quantification By using Google, a user is showing an interest in statistical quantification of information, because that is all Google searches provide.

Now for my opinion. I would rather have a conversation with Google than Alicebot. Assuming a chatbot friend is not stupid: the bot knows Nixon did not fear an invasion of Visigoths, that leaders in another point in history did worry about Visigoths, and that there are no outdoor alligator farms in Greenland. Still, it is just a single human friend. With Google I get to have a conversation with a real time world information filtering device. WORLD, dear brothers, sisters and chatbots. A chatbot stands in that mode humans usually stand in, socializing. Socialization helps normalize us to be within bounds of behavior and opinion. With a chatbot, just as with single human friends, your normalization is shaped by the quantum itself, which is small and intimate. With Google, your normalization is with an entity much larger than human.

The quantum of the conversation is analogous to the standalone computer versus internet-as-computer dichotomy. Older computer programs were written to happen entirely on one computer, whereas cloud computing programming utilizes multiple computers and usually has access to the whole internet. By another analogy, the Turing Test is flatearth, and a non-human-giant-AI is copernican.

Last night, my wife asked me; "Why is AI so important to you?". My answer: Because of the quantum of our problem domain. All questions, including the most metaphysical or philosophical, have become too complex for humans to understand by talking to more humans. Historically, when we've realized we needed information beyond what other humans could provide we turned to Earth gods or Sky gods. Now the 7th Kingdom of Life, Technology, has grown to measuring all information and giving meta reports, which recursively change the information set. Humans able to get in on that conversation are part of something amazingly powerful. Powerful on a scale with the advent of prayer and community.

Supporting and supplemental documents:

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