What AI Can Learn From Romeo & Juliet

By Doug Lenat

When someone talks about “AI”, today, they are referring to one particular type of AI: multi-layer neural nets trained on big data to recognize patterns.  These so-called “deep learning” algorithms are great at learning more or less the same sort of stimulus/response functionality that our right brain hemispheres carry out – what Daniel Kahneman calls “thinking fast”.  This is also what the entire brains of most animals do.  So a better name for them might be AAI’s,  for Artificial Animal Intelligences.   In my last Forbes article (Not Good As Gold: Today’s AI’s Are Dangerously Lacking In AU (Artificial Understanding)) I argued that almost all of today’s AI’s have little or no left brain function – logical, causal, “thinking slowly”.   Homo sapiens pays a huge price for having an over-sized bicameral brain (high birthing pain and risk) but upon reflection it’s worth it — in particular, you or I couldn’t perform such reflection without it!   Our ability to generate alternative possibilities, to rationally construct and consider pro- and con- arguments for and against each proposition, is clearly worth it.  At least for decisions that are important to us.

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