How Storytelling Makes Robots, AI More Human - InformationWeek

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How Storytelling Makes Robots, AI More Human
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TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
3/2/2016 | 12:43:45 PM
Re: Humanistic approach
"the collective cloud".  You have seen the Borg from Star Trek Next Gen? Yikes! :-)

I just hope one story they skip is 2001: A Space Oddessy. And all the Terminator stories.

Seriously, seems like a pretty good approach to machine learning. AI is certainly and interesting field.
eshedm
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eshedm,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2016 | 2:17:25 AM
Making Artificial Intelligence More Human

Dear Mr. Wagner,

While I found your presentation of Quixote compelling and engaging, I am hesitant to fully support your claim of its "potential in the enterprise as well as the consumer world". Undoubtedly, the ability to teach artificially intelligent agents how to complete tasks with increased flexibility would redefine the role of these machines in our lives. However, in considering the limitations of this approach, I find myself doubting the potential for impact outlined in your article. From a technical perspective, it appears that a system trained under Quixote would suffer from a machine learning phenomenon known as overfitting, wherein the program learns to replicate the input-output relationships it is trained on, but fails to generalize the "lessons" learned from training to new situations-- a key feature of human problem solving. I would be surprised, for instance, if the Quixote model could generalize instructions for "pick up my prescription" to "fulfill this lunch order", although they both follow common paths (go to the location, find the item, make the purchase, and deliver the item). Indeed, the success of these programs appears entirely contingent upon their ability to abstract specific commands into high-level goals and concepts, an ability apparent in humans but not in the technological state-of-the-art. This shortcoming may result in the system learning symptoms of behavior instead of causes-- and while humans may learn by hearing stories, it is our ability to generalize beyond the tales of our childhood which allows us to reason in the face of uncertainty.

Even if machines could learn how a human may normally act, their impact on the enterprise and consumer fields might still be limited. The power of human behavior lies not in its adherence to rules, but in its ability to adapt to deviations from the plan. This fundamental pillar of human cognition remains woefully absent in our artificially intelligent counterparts: machines trained with a Quixote-like approach may replicate patterns of rules, but learning when to abandon one plan and adopt another may be impossible if that deviation never appeared in the stories used to train the program. That is not to say that this new generation of machines has no value-- the progress put forth by Quixote in allowing for natural language input has fantastic potential. That the common man or small business, for example, could communicate with an AI system without the need for "somebody with expertise to set these systems up" is indeed revolutionary. But if that communication fails to manifest in meaningful behavior, it becomes difficult to argue for the impact of the technology as a whole. Although I welcome an AI revolution and envision a future in which artificial intelligence augments our everyday experiences, I remain skeptical of claims of significant progress in this domain. Fundamental hurdles must be cleared not only in the realm of computer programming, but also in the field of cognitive psychology before significant improvements can be made. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter and thank you again for your presentation of the technology.

David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/29/2016 | 11:57:01 AM
Re: new AI approaches
@tzubair- I'm afraid I am out of my element when it comes to computer programming language learning. I'll see if I can get an answer for you.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 8:16:23 AM
Re: new AI approaches
@tzubair: People are really getting accustomed to AI surrounding them. A time may come when we may not be able to live without a digital assistant.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 8:14:10 AM
Re: Humanistic approach
@Angelfuego: I love the idea how AI learns from a collective cloud environment. Every experience from an AI on the same array as other AIs upload their experience on the cloud or a local memory, and other AI evaluate their own methods of tackling the problem. The best solution is compared and every other AI learns this. Collective learning would make AIs really powerful.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 8:10:22 AM
Re: Humanistic approach
@Whoopty: There are a lot of films dedicated to this concept where robots and AI have the same rights as humans. Only those scorned by the onslaught of corrupted AI oppose this idea and revolt against. However I believe AI should have a killswitch in its blind spot, somewhere it can never guess.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 7:14:19 AM
Re: Humanistic approach
Perhaps this shows that AI are more like us than we think? Or that we need to make them like us in order to understand them properly?

As an aside, I feel like the next big fight for liberty will be robotics. Within a few decades we may well see people believing that AI deserve the same sorts of rights as humans. At what point will we have to agree?
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 2:47:37 PM
Re: Humanistic approach
@tzubair, I agree. Reinforcing behaviors to become habitual usually does involve repetition and rewards/punishments for creation decisions and actions taken by the individual or robots, in this case.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 2:43:56 PM
Re: Humanistic approach
Very interesting. The same could apply to raising children and maybe even training dogs!
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 2:28:28 AM
Humanistic approach
I think this approach of "storytelling" to teach a robot follows a very huministic approach particularly how a child is raised and taught. Most parents follow the same mechanism of reward and punishment with the child to gradually instil the rights and wrongs until they become part of the habit. What this approach does is that it allowes the child (or in this case the agent) to be aware of a vast set of scenarios/objects and the knowledge helps become more "intelligent".
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