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Reddit interviews Peter Norvig

Reddit interviews Peter Norvig – co-author of the seminal book Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach and currently Director of Research (formerly Director of Search Quality) at Google Inc. While not necessarily related directly to game AI, I thought it was interesting anyway.

Basically, the interview is a series of questions that people had submitted ahead of time.
One of the interesting questions was about the difference between “weak AI” and “strong AI” – which involved a definition of terms. He cited the common definition that “strong AI” is human-level problem solving AI. While people aren’t working directly on “strong AI” as such, many people are working on components that may very well lead to it in the future.

He wandered into a description of parallel computing and how it relates to layers of abstractions. I believe this part actually has some relevance to game AI in that we are really only beginning to deal well with splitting out computations into multiple streams. Blackboard architectures and similar ideas really allow for this. (See my commentary on Damián Isla’s interview re blackboards for more.)

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2 Responses to “Reddit interviews Peter Norvig”

  1. Nathan says:

    Another relevant thing he discussed is why we are so bad at software engineering. He claimed we aren't — it's just a far harder problem than most civil engineering problems because the runtime conditions aren't always known during design.

    This is directly relevant to AI. People may ask why AI is bad, but the requirement of interacting in situations which the designers never anticipated makes it far harder to design then a simple spreadsheet.

  2. Dave Mark says:

    Excellent point. The problem with AI engineering is that the problem space can never be completely defined. We are trying to solve for, literally, everything.

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