EmTech MIT: Giving machines common sense [ZDNet.com]

Josh Tenenbaum on stage at EmTech
September 15, 2018

We have lot of AI technologies, but no real artificial intelligence. MIT's Josh Tenenbaum leads a moonshot effort to close this gap by reverse engineering how children learn.

By for Between the Lines

"The world has seen remarkable progress in artificial intelligence in recent years, but general AI remains science fiction. One of the keys to making this leap could be the human brain. In a talk at the EmTech MIT conference this week, MIT professor Josh Tenenbaum described a new university moonshot to build machines that can learn like children.

"Why do we have all these AI technologies, but fundamentally no real AI?" Tenenbaum said. "We have machines that do useful things we used to think only humans could do, but none of these systems are truly intelligent, none of them have the flexible, common sense [of] . . . even a one-year-old."

These systems are designed to do one thing very well while humans can do all of these things--and much more--well. That's because current AI technologies are based on pattern recognition, while human learning is more complex. It is about explaining and understanding things, making plans, solving problems, and imagining new things we've never seen before. The goal of the Learning moonshot is to reverse-engineer this ability to model the world to create "more human-like machine intelligence..."

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