Monday, January 31, 2011

I, algorithm: A new dawn for artificial intelligence - tech - 31 January 2011 - New Scientist

I, algorithm: A new dawn for artificial intelligence:Lying close to the heart of AI's revival is a technique called probabilistic programming, which combines the logical underpinnings of the old AI with the power of statistics and probability. "It's a natural unification of two of the most powerful theories that have been developed to understand the world and reason about it," says Stuart Russell, a pioneer of modern AI at the University of California, Berkeley. This powerful combination is finally starting to disperse the fog of the long AI winter. "It's definitely spring," says cognitive scientist Josh Tenenbaum at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...
Logic, however, was not going away. It turns out that Bayesian networks aren't enough by themselves because they don't allow you to build arbitrarily complex constructions out of simple pieces. Instead it is the synthesis of logic programming and Bayesian networks into the field of probabilistic programming that is creating a buzz.

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