Teaching Artificial Intelligence Through Twenty Questions
from the fun-for-the-whole-cyborg-family dept
Over the years, it seems that the interest in "artificial intelligence" comes and goes in waves -- but there are always a few interesting projects that the press loves to focus in on. A few years ago, it was Cyc, the AI system that people had been feeding info for decades, and which plenty of folks were talking about for a couple of years, but which hasn't receive that much attention lately. It looks like a different, but in some ways similar, project is now getting attention instead. It's the somewhat addictive online version of 20 Questions (which has been around forever) that is being talked about for its AI potential. One interesting element is that the system has become so addictive that the company that put it together has found that it can make money selling a handheld version of the game -- which apparently can figure out what you're thinking of within 20 questions about 80% of the time. It's definitely a neat toy, but the question (as with Cyc) is how useful it is for real world applications. The designer names a few potential applications, such as helping to determine hazardous materials. However, one application that makes sense, diagnosing medical problems, seems to scare him off over liability questions. Still, it is always interesting to see how these projects advance.