This story is from the category Artificial Intelligence
Date posted: 17/03/2008
Passing the Turing test--the holy grail of AI (a human conversing with a computer can't tell it's not human)--may now be possible in a limited way with the world's fastest supercomputer (IBM's Blue Gene) and mimicking the behavior of a human-controlled avatar in a virtual world, according to AI experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
"We are building a knowledge base that corresponds to all of the relevant background for our synthetic character--where he went to school, what his family is like, and so on," said Selmer Bringsjord, head of Rensselaer's Cognitive Science Department and leader of the research project.
"We are building a knowledge base that corresponds to all of the relevant background for our synthetic character--where he went to school, what his family is like, and so on," said Selmer Bringsjord, head of Rensselaer's Cognitive Science Department and leader of the research project. "We want to engineer, from the start, a full-blown intelligent character and converse with him in an interactive environment like the holodeck from Star Trek."
In other words, he is going to be in ActiveWorlds, Second Life, or a similar virtual environment.
The key to the realism of RPI's synthetic characters, according to Bringsjord, is that RPI is modeling the mental states of others--in particular, one's beliefs about others' mental states.
"Our synthetic characters have correlates of the mental states experienced by all humans," said Bringsjord. "That's how we plan to pass this limited version of the Turing test."
Mimicking the behavior of a human-controlled avatar in a virtual world like Second Life is possible, according to Bringsjord, if you craft the necessary algorithms carefully and run them on the world's fastest supercomputer. Bringsjord's synthetic-character software runs on the supercomputers at CCNI, which together provide more than 100 teraflops, including a massively parallel IBM Blue Gene supercomputer (the title-holder to world's fastest supercomputer), a Linux cluster-supercomputer, and an Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processor-based cluster supercomputer.
In the limited version of the Turing test that Bringsjord is devising, a synthetic character modeled by software running on the supercomputers will converse with the human-controlled avatars in a virtual world. If the supercomputer can interact convincingly with the humans controlling the other avatars--that is, without them guessing the fraud--then the test will be judged a success.
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