It seems to me that one of the basic questions that haunt AI researchers is 'what have we missed?' Assuming that the goal of AI is to create intelligence with similar performance to natural intelligence; what are the key ingredients to such a capability? There is an old saw It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill There is a lot of truth to that; it effectively amounts to 10 years of more-or-less full-time focus. This has been demonstrated for many fields of activity from learning an instrument, learning a language or learning to program. But it does not take 10,000 hours to figure out if it is raining outside, and to decide to carry an umbrella. What is the difference? One informal way of distinguishing the two forms of learning is to categorize one as `muscle memory' and the other as 'declarative memory'. Typically, skills take a lot of practice to acquire, whereas declarative learning is instant. Skills are more permanent too: you tend not to forget a skill; but i
A sporadic series of essays on things that interest me. Mostly about programming in one form or another.