Jeff Hawkins at eTech 2007

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You have already watched James May’s wonderful BBC program on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, in class you will have already began discussing what the words Artificial Intelligence and Singularity mean and through a variety of videos and examples be able to define those terms. So it is now time to delve further into a particular area of Artificial Intelligence. To begin with I would like each of you to follow the following research thread to see if your definition of artificial intelligence is correct?

1) Design and create your own virtual chatbot

  • Goto the Pandora’s Chatbots website and join their website – and create your own chatbot. While doing this think of how you are training your robot to become ‘artificially’ intelligent?
  • You will need to be able to present your chatbot to the group and explain the process you went through.
  • Compare your chatbot to others that you have found (note a great deal are blocked by the school filter) and say why they might be better, and why they might be more likely to win the Turing Prize. Here are a few others  ScientiBOT, Virsona, List of chatterbots at Wikipedia.
  • You will need to be able to show your chatbot creation to the group for them to experiment with. You will need to be able to explain if you consider your ‘bot’ artificially intelligent and how it works. Finally you will need to explain if your ‘bot’ would pass the Turing test and what this test is?

Now you have an idea of artificial intelligence – separately choose one of the following areas to research in more detail and present back to the class your findings:-

A) Research the world of robots – social rather than functional…(CHOCODREAMS)?

  • Most robots are there to help students do things faster, quicker or make us stronger…..but there are scientists out there developing socially empathic robots
  • Think of toys that fulfill this social role as a start, what do they do and how do they work. What are their limitations. If you can find videos or video one in action that would be great. Note the Japanese are always the innovators of this.
  • Then go to this site dedicated to KISMET– how has this robot improved on the toys that you have researched?
  • You will need to present your findings to the group – and show the social and ethical issues that arise from their not only being functional but sociable robots.

B) Most so-called Artificial Intelligence relates to their simply being large databases of information as such Expert Systems, is this really going to lead to artificial intelligence or is there another way (ACE)?

  • Get started by going to watch this video at one of the TED conferences by Jeff Hawkins
  • Try to make sense of his ideas and how this might effect the world of artificial intelligence -be able to present his ideas and say how this might differ from Expert Systems that exist now…
  • Research into one expert system in detail (this might be in an area of impact such as health), say how it has changed how people work and whether it has improved what they do? Are there any issues with the system, any limitations? Recent trends have led to Expert Systems being used by the general public, can you find examples of this and why it is cause for concern?
  • Do you believe that the expert system could be developed using Hawkins ideas and AI?

C) The movies love Artificial Intelligence -there was even a very poor movie named AI! Remember? You will need to find out how movie propaganda is affecting our view of robots and artificial intelligence (LAL)?

  • The good bit watch the video below which looks at some well known examples of artificially intelligent robots
  • Research methodically a variety of films and look at their ethical and social viewpoints on artificial intelligence – what is their general viewpoint?
  • Once you have finished the above think and research of ways in which artificially intelligent beings and human beings might comfortably co-exist. Explain ways that this could happen – maybe a peak at Asimov’s ideas might help?
  • Can you find any examples where Ai is used that would follow your above ideas. If not show three examples where Ai is driving technological change, and discuss whether this change is leading us in the direction of the films or another way?

These are just the broad outlines of your research areas – I will discuss and add more next week. You will need to show your progress by at least two separate posts to this weblog. The ITGS Grade 11 students will be looking at your posts and explanations so make sure your posts are well written.

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