Oh, A.I., you rebel

A.I. researcher Yejin Choi interview in the New York Times:

[Common sense is] the unspoken, implicit knowledge that you and I have. It’s so obvious that we often don’t talk about it. For example, how many eyes does a horse have? Two. We don’t talk about it, but everyone knows it. We don’t know the exact fraction of knowledge that you and I have that we didn’t talk about — but still know — but my speculation is that there’s a lot. Let me give you another example: You and I know birds can fly, and we know penguins generally cannot. So A.I. researchers thought, we can code this up: Birds usually fly, except for penguins. But in fact, exceptions are the challenge for common-sense rules. Newborn baby birds cannot fly, birds covered in oil cannot fly, birds who are injured cannot fly, birds in a cage cannot fly. The point being, exceptions are not exceptional, and you and I can think of them even though nobody told us. It’s a fascinating capability, and it’s not so easy for A.I.

This capability seems like it would involve creativity. Patterns and knowledge are synthesized together to build new ideas: new kinds of exceptions and ways to break rules.

Questions? Comments? I'd love to see your message in my inbox. Send me an email.