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AI still can’t master language

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From Will Knight at Technology Review:

Machines that truly understand language would be incredibly useful. But we don’t know how to build them.

SHRDLU was held up as a sign that the field of AI was making profound progress. But it was just an illusion. When Winograd tried to make the program’s block world larger, the rules required to account for the necessary words and grammatical complexity became unmanageable. Just a few years later, he had given up, and eventually he abandoned AI altogether to focus on other areas of research. “The limitations were a lot closer than it seemed at the time,” he says. More.

Could part of the problem be that language is not just a signal system like the telephone keypad? Maybe the computer has nothing to communicate anyway.

See also: Next artificial intelligence doom scenario is 2075

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If any computer had something to say then that would be marketable. I'm not sure why a computer couldn't have a language. its its all memory work.! Our language is just putting sounds to thoughts after a accepted structure. The computer only needs symbols for the sounds and so it must be a failure of thought patterns. Its too dumb after all. As in people memory ability does not equal intellectual ability although there might be, or is , a curve of association. Robert Byers

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