Here are the papers or talks I enjoyed the most and hope you might also find them useful or inspiring.
- Unifying Logical and Statistical AI talk given by Pedro Domingos.
Intelligent agents must be able to handle the complexity and uncertainty of the real world. Logical AI (of which the semantic web is an example) has focused mainly on the former, and statistical AI (e.g. machine learning) on the latter. The two approaches can be united, with significant benefits, some of which are demonstrated by the Alchemy system
- Developing an intelligent personal assistant: The CALO (Cognitive Agent at that Learns and Organises) project talk given by Karen Myers.
CALO is a desktop assistant that learns what you do in the lab / office. Sounds spooky, but involves some interesting technology and fascinating research questions.
- Bookmark hierarchies and collaborative recommendation by Ben Markines, Lubomira Stoilova and Filippo Menczer.
Describes an open-source, academically-oriented social bookmarking site where you can donate your bookmarks to science at givealink
- Social network-based Trust in Prioritised Default Logic by Yarden Katz and Jennifer Golbeck.
Who and how can you trust on the Web?
- Google vs Berners-Lee was a memorable debate. According to Jim Hendler, Tim and Peter are reconciling their differences now
Not particularly webby, but…
- Stephen Muggletons talk on Computational Biology and Chemical Turing Machines, went down well but unfortunately I was stuck in a parallel track, experiencing “death by ontology”.
- Bruce Buchanan gave a talk What Do We Know About Knowledge. A roller-coaster ride through the last 2000+ years of human attempts to understand what knowledge is, how to represent it and why it is powerful
- Winning the DARPA Grand Challenge with an AI Robot called Stanley talk given by Sebastian Thrun, amazing presentation on a driving a robotic car through the desert over rough terrain. However, it doesn’t take too much imagination to think of horrific applications of this. Next year they will try to drive it from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a public freeway, and Stanley hasn’t even passed its driving test yet!
Appropriately, the conference which was subtitled Celebrating 50 years of AI finished with two talks by Lenhart K. Schubert and Stuart M. Shieber about the Turing test. The first discussed Turing’s dream and the Knowledge Challenge, the second talk asked Does the Turing Test Demonstrate Intelligence or Not? Now I’m back in Manchester, where Turing once worked, I can’t help wondering, what would Alan make of the current state of AI and the semantic web? I think there are several possibilities, he could be thinking:
- EITHER: Fifty odd years later, they’re not still wasting time working on that Turing test are they?!
- OR: He is smugly satisifed that he devised a test, that no machine has passed, and perhaps never will, but has provided us with a satisfactory operational definition of “intelligence” ;
- …AND What the hell is the “Semantic Web”?
We will never know what Alan Turing would make of todays efforts to make a more intelligent web. However, that won’t stop me speculating that he would be impressed by the current uses of computers (intelligent or otherwise) to drive robots through the desert, perform all sort of computations on proteins and to search for information on this massive distributed global knowledge-base we call the “Web”. Not bad for 50 years of work, here’s to the next 50…
- Alan Turing (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence: The Turing TestMind 59(236):433-460
- Stephen H. Muggleton (2006) Exceeding human limits: The Chemical Turing MachineNature 440:409-410
- Stephen H. Muggleton (2006) Towards Chemical Universal Turing Machines in Proceedings on the 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence
- Picture credit: Image from Steve Jurvetson
- This post was originally published on nodalpoint with comments