Dr. Doug Lenat Presents “Creativity vs. Common Sense” at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies

The pursuit of Artificial Intelligence—from robotics to natural language processing to automated learning—has been held back by the “brittleness bottleneck” caused by the need for common sense

This is no less true for the more specialized pursuit of getting software to be creative, indeed that is exactly what led me from AM (the automated discovery program I wrote in 1976) to Cyc (the common sense knowledge base and reasoner we’ve been building since 1984.) Along the way, we’ve had to revise our preconceptions and theories, to expand our representation language and arsenal of inference methods, to find approximate yet adequate engineering solutions to problems that philosphers have grappled with for millenia such as substances vs. individual objects, time, space, causality, belief, social interactions, dealing with contradictions and context, and so on. This talk will cover my 30-year journey to get computers to be creative, and get specific about how ICT might harness and leverage our current ResearchCyc technology. This includes obvious connections, such as with Gordon and Hobbs’ work, and more subtle possible synergies with story direction and retrieval, training, producing appropriate explanations, and in general leading to less “brittle” virtual humans.

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