The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible (Arthur C. Clarke's 2nd law)

Friday, 3 August 2012

New Millennium AI and the Convergence of History: Update of 2012

Jürgen Schmidhuber, University of Lugano & SUPSI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently become a real formal science: the new millennium brought the first mathematically sound, asymptotically optimal, universal problem solvers, providing a new, rigorous foundation for the previously largely heuristic field of General AI and embedded agents. There also has been rapid progress in not quite universal but still rather general and practical artificial recurrent neural networks for learning sequence-processing programs, now yielding state-of-the-art results in real world applications. And the computing power per Euro is still growing by a factor of 100-1000 per decade, greatly increasing the feasibility of neural networks in general, which have started to yield human-competitive results in challenging pattern recognition competitions. Finally, a recent formal theory of fun and creativity identifies basic principles of curious and creative machines, laying foundations for artificial scientists and artists. Here I will briefly review some of the new results of my lab at IDSIA, and speculate about future developments, pointing out that the time intervals between the most notable events in over 40,000 years or 29 lifetimes of human history have sped up exponentially, apparently converging to zero within the next few decades. Or is this impression just a by-product of the way humans allocate memory space to past events?

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