From Physics to AI – Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong

I came across this in-depth interview with Noam Chomsky and Yarden Katz. The conversation covers a number of interesting topics, but specifically Chomsky is asked about the state of Artificial Intelligence. Chomsky argues that AI has over-reliant on what amounts to statistical tricks, rather than striving to find a more fundamental ways to structure intelligence.

On of Chomsky’s comments on science really struck me:

There’s something to that. If you take a look at the progress of science, the sciences are kind of a continuum, but they’re broken up into fields. The greatest progress is in the sciences that study the simplest systems. So take, say physics — greatest progress there. But one of the reasons is that the physicists have an advantage that no other branch of sciences has. If something gets too complicated, they hand it to someone else.

If a molecule is too big, you give it to the chemists. The chemists, for them, if the molecule is too big or the system gets too big, you give it to the biologists. And if it gets too big for them, they give it to the psychologists, and finally it ends up in the hands of the literary critic, and so on.

I wonder where computer science and information theory fit in this continuum.

Noam Chomsky Mural, in Philadelphia


4 thoughts on “From Physics to AI – Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong

  1. I think what he’s really getting at is that everything we think we know is relative. Even with computer science, it’s fundamentally based on logic, which is a derivation of human reasoning: again, relative. When you look at everything we ‘know’, it’s not that we’ve created that knowledge, we’ve only discovered it. There’s an infinite amount of knowledge and relationship in the universe that we will never even dream of knowing. Science, then, or any discipline that tries to formalize a natural phenomenon is really just interpreting a relationship. Interpreting a relationship that can be interpreted in a different way, by a different ‘science’ ad infinitum. Chomsky’s brilliant. Very difficult to read, but proportionately valuable.

  2. Oh that looks like so much fun, love the dodgem cars, espleiacly when your childrens’ cars work & they zoom around, as opposed to the poor child who gets stuck & hammered. Love Posie[]

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