Monday, May 14, 2007

Dartmouth’s New Approach to AGI

Dartmouth College’s new Institute for Computational Science seems like a very promising approach to creating Artificial General Intelligence, combining elements of engineering, philosophy, neuroscience, and traditional computer science.

While the student paper article seems little more than a press release regarding the new Institute, the author raises and interesting issue about algorithms used by computational scientists to “re-create” elements of the real world for research & experimentation. Could sufficiently-complex modeling & simulation systems serve as the mechanism behind internal mental modeling for a conscious artificial mind? We regularly use similar tools for testing aerospace & fluidic systems, as well as modeling astronomic & quantum phenomena, so why not a generalized apparatus for predictive conscious thought? Such a system could provide the means for planning, intentionality, exploring cause & effect, as well as guessing what one will find around the next corner. Of course, expanding the domain of our modeling & simulation algorithms to be thoroughly general in nature is no trivial task, but it does open an interesting path to explore.

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