When the Director of Research for Google compares one of the most highly regarded linguists of all time to Bill O’Reilly, you know it is on. Recently, Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research and co-author of the most popular artificial intelligence textbook in the world, wrote a webpage extensively criticizing Noam Chomsky, arguably the most influential linguist in the world. Their disagreement points to a revolution in artificial intelligence that, like many revolutions, threatens to destroy as much as it improves. Chomsky, one of the old guard, wishes for an elegant theory of intelligence and language that looks past human fallibility to try to see simple structure underneath. Norvig, meanwhile, represents the new philosophy: truth by statistics, and simplicity be damned. Disillusioned with simple models, or even Chomsky’s relatively complex models, Norvig has of late been arguing that with enough data, attempting to fit any simple model at all is pointless. The disagreement between the two men points to how the rise of the Internet poses the same challenge to artificial intelligence that it has to human intelligence: why learn anything when you can look it up?
Last night was the thrilling conclusion to the man-machine matchup on Jeopardy!, pitting two of the best contestants ever against IBM’s contestant, Watson. As soon as I saw that one category was “One Buck or Less,” and another had a theme of keys on a keyboard, I thought, “Now this is a matchup!”
In case you missed it the first two nights, tonight is the final human vs. machine match on Jeopardy! Watson, a question-answering AI three years in the making, has been pitted against two of the best human players of all time. And it is cleaning up.
As an AI guy, I feel a little like I’m watching the moon landing, and a little like somebody is showing embarrassing home movies.
- Tor.com Check Out the Stunning Endpapers in Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer 1 day ago
- Stubby the Rocket SFF Authors Share How Star Wars Inspired Them “A Long Time Ago” 1 day ago
- Tor.com Tor Teen Acquires “Coming of Age in Outer Space” Trilogy from Charlie Jane Anders 1 day ago
- Val C Alston Crafting a Shardblade for Brandon Sanderson 1 day ago
- Ian Cameron Esslemont Deadhouse Landing 1 day ago
- Alex Brown The Best and Worst of the ’90s Teen Horror Movie Craze 1 day ago
- Ada Palmer Chronicling Japanese Folklore: The Ghosts and Monsters of Shigeru Mizuki 1 day ago
- Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson: Chapters 22-24 1 min ago on
- 5 Things That Obi-Wan Kenobi Should Have Told Luke Skywalker (Instead of LIES) 24 mins ago on
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “I, Borg” 26 mins ago on
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Second Chances” 28 mins ago on
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Aquiel” 38 mins ago on
- The Silmarillion Primer: The Creation of Life, Eä, and Everything 40 mins ago on
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Hero Worship” 48 mins ago on