Open Questions: Artificial Intelligence
See also: Robotics --
Self-organization and complex systems --
Creativity and problem solving --
Categorization and concept formation --
Thinking, reasoning, and logic --
- AI is controversial
- AI is both a science and a field of engineering
- AI has had both successes and failures
- AI cannot be separated from the problem of understanding what
intelligence is and how it works
Open Directory Project: Artificial Intelligence
- Categorized and annotated links. A version of this
list is at
Google, with entries sorted in "page rank" order. May also be
- Part of the WWW Virtual Library.
AI, Cognitive Science, and Robotics
- Guide to resources such as conferences, publishers, FAQs,
bibliographies, and other guides and indexes.
Psychological Science on the Net: Artificial Intelligence
- Extensive annotated list of links.
Brendan Kitts Hotlist
- Large list of links related to artificial intelligence and
also genetic algorithms, neural nets, and neuroscience.
AI on the Web
- A huge categorized list of links to AI sites, by
Stuart Russell, co-author of
Artificial Intelligence, a Modern Approach.
Yahoo Artificial Intelligence Links
- Annotated list of links.
Galaxy: Artificial Intelligence
- Categorized site directory. Entries usually include
Sites with general resources
American Association for Artificial Intelligence
- "The American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the
scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought
and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
Their Web site contains information about the organization,
and a very good collection of information on AI in general,
- Flagship publication of
AAAI, which calls it the
"journal of record for the AI community". It covers "significant
new research and literature across the entire field of
artificial intelligence." The magazine has been published since
1980, and content of all issues (in PDF form)
is available online. All but
the most recent content is accessible, free of charge, to
everyone. Many of the articles and other features are suitable
for non-specialists in AI.
Marvin Minsky Home Page
- Minsky is one of the founders of AI. His site contains abstracts,
bibliography, and a number of online articles.
Bibliographies on Artificial Intelligence
- Directory of many useful bibliographies. Part of the
Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies.
John McCarthy's Home Page
- McCarthy is one of the founders of AI and
created the LISP programming language. His site contains
pointers to many of his papers, and a very interesting and useful
What is Artificial Intelligence.
IEEE Intelligent Systems
- Professional journal that focuses on applications of
artificial intelligence. A small amount of the content is free,
but most requires payment of a substantial fee.
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
- The laboratory's "goal is to understand the nature of
intelligence and to engineer systems that exhibit intelligence."
Major emphasis is on vision, robotics, and language. Web site
contains information on lab research activities and publications.
The laboratory recently merged to form the MIT
Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
General surveys, overviews, tutorials
- Article from
Natural language processing.
- "A dynamic library of introductory information about
artificial intelligence." The site is intended
to provide information on AI that is understandable by students
of high school level and above. It is provided by
6.825 Techniques in Artificial Intelligence, Fall 2002
- A graduate level course of
MIT OpenCourseWare, developed by Leslie Kaelbling.
Lecture notes are provided in PDF format.
"Topics covered include: representation and inference in
first-order logic, modern deterministic and decision-theoretic
planning techniques, basic supervised learning methods, and
Bayesian network inference and learning."
Intelligent Sytems and Their Societies
- A free e-book by Walter Fritz dealing with intelligent systems,
artificial intelligence, and robotics. Main page has some useful
What is Artificial Intelligence
- Good list of frequently asked questions, by John McCarthy.
It deals with basic questions, the branches of AI, and
applications of AI.
Amplified Intelligence: Machines as Brain Boosters
- August 2004
article from Space.com.
Presents an interview with Ken Ford, discussing "amplified
intelligence", a vision of how humans and machines interact.
Artificial Intelligence for the New Millennium
- June 20, 2001 article from the New York Times, providing a
very non-technical overview of the current state of applied
Falling Prey To Machines?
- A discussion with AI expert John Holland sketches the current
(2003) state of artificial intelligence.
Natural Language Understanding
- Online text of 1995 book by James Allen. A good survey of the
- "OpenCyc is the open source version of the Cyc technology,
the world's largest and most complete general knowledge base and
commonsense reasoning engine." The site provides access to
open source software, documentation, and the knowledge base.
It is provided for free use by
- "Cycorp was founded in 1994 to research, develop, and
commercialize Artificial Intelligence. Cycorp's vision is to
create the world's first true artificial intelligence, having
both common sense and the ability to reason with it."
- A lexical database for English.
"WordNet is an online lexical reference system whose design is
inspired by current psycholinguistic theories of human lexical
memory." WordNet is a project of
George A. Miller and the
Princeton Cognitive Science Laboratory.
The frame problem
Some Philosophical Problems from the Standpoint of Artificial
- A classic paper written in 1969 by
and Patrick J. Hayes. The concept of a "frame problem" was
introduced in this paper.
- Short 1998 article by Eric Lormand, with emphasis on the
- Artificial Intelligence: Hype or Reality
Adrian A. Hopgood
Computer, May 2003, pp. 24-28
- The serious study of artificial intelligence is conservatively
assumed to have begun over 50 years ago, and can be defined as
"the science of mimicking human mental faculties in a computer."
Intelligent behavior can be described on a scale from simple
reaction to sophisticated expertise. But ironically, behavior
in the middle of the scale, such as common sense reasoning,
has proven the most difficult to emulate.
- 21st-Century AI: Proud, Not Smug
Intelligent Systems, May/June 2003, pp. 18-24
- Artificial intelligence (as an engineering discipline) is
maturing. Examples of successful AI applications include data
mining and natural language processing. But the "easy" work
may be over. Some of the fertile areas of research for the
near future include case-based reasoning, large knowledge
bases, agent architectures, improved Bayes nets, and
- AI and Agents: State of the Art
AI Magazine, Fall 2002, pp. 25-29
- Many observers feel that AI has failed to deliver on its
original goal of building intelligent systems of general
competence. In order to meet this goal, AI systems need to
be autonomous and flexible, capable of operating in unpredictable,
dynamic, and usually social domains. These requirements seem to
call for using "agents" to implement AI systems.
- Lord of the Robots
Technology Review, April 2002, pp. 78-82
- An interview with Rodney Brooks, director of MIT's Artificial
Intelligence Lab, provides an overview of the current state of
AI research, especially in connection with robotics.
- A. I. Reboots
Technology Review, March 2002, pp. 46-55
- Research and development in artificial intelligence is still
an active area. But, at least for the near term, the goals have
changed from emulating human capabilities and thought processes
to practical applications -- such as "smart" databases and
application software -- that assist rather than replace humans.
- Creativity at the Metalevel
Bruce G. Buchanan
AI Magazine, Fall 2001, pp. 13-28
- Human creativity has been studied extensively by psychologists
and philosophers, and a number of similar models of the creative
process have been proposed. All seem to involve an iterative
process of generating plausible solutions and testing them. All
these have certain commonalities, such as methods of solution
generation and collections of verification criteria. Higher
level creativity may arise at the "metalevel" by systematically
varying such methods and criteria.
[Article in PDF format]
- Seeing Clearly and Moving Forward
Robert Laddaga; Mark L. Swinson; Paul Robertson
Intelligent Systems, November/December 2000, pp. 46-49
- Work will continue to be important in areas such as data
mining, learning, knowledge representation, planning and
scheduling, natural language processing, expert systems, and
deductive and inductive reasoning. But as "ubiquitous computing"
becomes prevalent, computers will need the ability perceive
and interact with the world of humans and their artifacts.
This makes the study of vision, speech, and language
understanding especially important for incorporation in
embedded computers and robotic systems.
- What Does the Future Hold?
AI Magazine, Winter 2000, pp. 41-57
- In the past, AI system implementations tended to consist of
black boxes that were presented with some sort of problem
description and produced some sort of answer. But human-like
performance seems to require an ability to sense and interact
with a real-world environment. Applications involving embedded systems
and "ubiquitous computing" lead in the same direction. The implication
is that AI systems must meet three new requirements: autonomy,
robustness, and the ability to make sense out of multiple kinds of
[Article in PDF format]
- AI's Greatest Trends and Controversies
Marti A. Hearst; Haym Hirsch
Intelligent Systems, January/February 2000, pp. 8-17
- 24 of the best-known authorities on AI and related fields
offer their own personal perspectives on the first half century
of AI research.
- The Importance of Importance
AI Magazine, Fall 1999, pp. 18-35
- AI began by working with what were assumed to be basic,
abstract human skills, such as logic, reasoning, and
knowledge representation. But this approach neglected
another innate human skill: being able to quickly perceive
what is "important" in a problem. This is a perceptual ability,
which is difficult to formalize. The further advance of AI will
depend on better understanding of this and other similar
faculties such as action, language, and creativity. To do this,
AI will need to assimilate the insights of neighboring
disciplines like neuroscience, psychology, and linguistics.
[Article in PDF format]
- AI Growing Up
James F. Allen
AI Magazine, Winter 1998, pp. 13-23
- The definition of "AI" has not been especially clear, so
a more precise definition is proposed: "AI is the science of
making machines do tasks that humans can do or try to do."
Past approaches to AI have been misguided in various ways,
such as working on problems that were too abstract or focusing
on just one kind of technique. More progress might be made by
addressing real but circumscribed problems using a suite of
[Article in PDF format]
- What Are Intelligence? And Why?
AI Magazine, Spring 1998, pp. 91-110
- The title of this article makes the point that
"intelligence" is many things, both conceptually and in
implementation. Intelligence can be considered from several points
of view, such as the logical and the psychological. As a product
of evolution, different components of intelligence have come
about for a variety of purposes. Behavior that can be called
"intelligent" is not limited to humans. AI can be regarded as
the study of the design space of possible forms of intelligence.
As a science, AI may be more like biology, which tries to understand
diverse phenomena, than like mathematics, which tries to
extrapolate from a limited set of general principles. One kind
of reasoning that needs to be studied more closely is visual
or perceptual rather than logical in nature.
[Article in PDF format]
- Chess is Too Easy
Technology Review, March/April 1998, pp. 23-28
- One of the chief features that seems to be missing from
efforts to provide computers with "intelligence" is a capability
for original or creative behavior. The author has developed the
software of a "storytelling machine" that can write original
but very short stories. It is concluded, however, that only
a human can have sufficient understanding of human thoughts
and emotions to write a story comparable in quality to the
work of the best human authors.
- Ray Kurzweil -- The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers
Exceed Human Intelligence
Penguin Books, 1999
- Kurzweil is a successful inventor (in areas like speech
recognition, optical character recognition, music synthesis)
with a good track record in prediction. His predictions in this
book are, still, rather daring. After a brief look at the history
of computer evolution and the question of whether computers can
ever be "conscious", he launches into some audacious predictions
for the development of computers and robots in the next three
decades and the remainder of the 21st century.
[Book home page]
- John L. Casti -- The Cambridge Quintet: A Work of Scientific
Perseus Books, 1998
- Casti examines the philosophical and practical prospects of
artificial intelligence using the device of an imagined dinner
party in 1949 involving C. P. Snow, Erwin Schrödinger, J. B. S.
Haldane, Alan Turing, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The central conflict
is between Turing and Wittgenstein over the question of whether
a machine can "think".
- David G. Stork, ed. -- HAL's Legacy: 2001's Computer as
Dream and Reality
MIT Press, 1997
- Using the movie 2001's computer HAL as a point of reference,
this books presents 16 essays by experts in artificial intelligence
that discuss both the technology and human significance of
computer technology. It is now clear that HAL was an overly
optimistic projection of what would be possible in the given
time frame. The important question is when, or whether, a computer like
HAL will be feasible.
- Margaret A. Boden, ed. -- The Philosophy of Artificial
Oxford University Press, 1990
- An excellent collection of papers by some of the seminal
thinkers and critics concerned with artificial intelligence, such
as Warren McCulloch, Alan Turing, John Searle, Allen Newell,
Herbert Simon, Daniel Dennett, Patrick Hayes, Hubert Dreyfus, and
Paul Churchland. Topics include the nature of intelligence,
the frame problem, and connectionism.
- George Johnson -- Mahinery of the Mind: Inside the New Science
of Artificial Intelligence
Microsoft Press, 1986
- Johnson's book is a time capsule from the "heroic age" of
artificial intelligence, just before the "AI winter". It provides a
history, for general readers and without technical details, of
the people who created the discipline known as AI,
the systems they were famous for, and the main ideas
of the field.
Copyright © 2002 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved