AI Costs - KISS 

Humans have real intelligence. Computers, on the other hand, can only follow a program of instructions. Computer programs are written by humans and can only impart a small fraction of the human programmer's skill into the resulting program run.

The advantage that a computer has is the penchant for working full speed non-stop without getting the human feelings of boredom and fatigue.

I believe that computer programmers of today have the ability to make computers do almost anything that humans can do - but at a cost. Part of the cost is 'bloat' other cost is complexity of the human interface and the balance of the cost is reliability.

Bloat can be seen in the hardware requirements of modern operating systems and applications. They either don't run at all, or run extremely slowly on older hardware.

Human interface complexity is also a necessity in order to communicate to the computer what your requirements really are. Compare the keyboard of a standard calculator to that of a financial or scientific calculator.

Reliability suffers with complexity both due to the greater probability of program bugs as well at operator errors.

The bottom line is that computers should not try to replace human intelligence. The old computer adage K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) applies as much today as ever before.
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Non-stop pushups 

A few months ago I showed photos of my coral tree saplings in late afternoon and early evening. See related link.

Now they are bigger, and winter is approaching, but they are still flapping their leaves.

This video shows three days of action taken at one frame every ten minutes.

Notice how the leaves start rising before two o'clock in the morning, hours before it starts getting light - indicating that it is controlled by time rather than light. Yet if artificial light is turned on while the leaves are moving down, they start to rise - showing that there is a degree of light sensitivity. During the day the leaves appear to be shaking due to breeze - but it is dead calm and at normal speed no movement can be detected. Night images are iluminated with infra-red.
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Real AI 

A "robot modelled after Albert Einstein with specialised software that allows it to interact with humans in a relatively natural, conversational way". (Unfortunately this video has been lost - but it was a really poor attempt to make an artificial head look real.)

The animated Abraham Lincoln that I saw at Disneyland in 1966. Hmmm, was amazing - Abe had a full body and stood up, gave a speech, and sat down again. I was convinced that it was a human actor. A detached head and shoulders won't fool anyone!
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Want some money? 

  • Read good science fiction stories to get good ideas for inventions.
  • Research (hint: Google) other research in related ideas to gain ideas for how the sci-fi inventions can be realised.
  • Write a proposal, adding a liberal sprinkling of well-known theories such as nano-technology, quantum mechanics and biological neurons.
  • Make a model. Photograph it and call it a prototype. (It can be the wrong size and need not work, but it must look mysterious.)
  • Request research funding from any of a large selection of agencies. (hint: Google). DARPA may be a good one - see related link.

  • Funding grants for impossible research, such as Smart Dust, are a waste of money. But it does entertain many people who watch Discovery Channel! It is surprising how many people really believe the futuristic inventions may one day become practical.
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    Research Fraud 

    The New York Times of 29/12/2008 reported "Universities to Pay U.S. $1.6 Million in Research Fraud Case".

    I think that this is the tip of the iceberg and many more research projects that are being publicly funded are just Sci-Fi ideas that are made believable by fraudulent claims.

    Univertity professors should be teaching the students useful skills and not wasting time playing Sci-Fi games with expensive toys funded by research grants.
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