CSCI 2951X: Reintegrating AI
The primary goal of Artificial Intelligence has always been to build complete intelligent agents. However, the field has also always been fragmented into a collection of problem-specific areas of study. This seminar course will survey efforts made, over several decades, to produce "big picture" theories and architectures for reintegrating the various component technologies into complete, generally-capable, intelligent agents. The class will read and discuss two papers per week. Grading will be based on two written essays, and a substantial open-ended final project.
The first class is on Thursday January 25th. The class meets on a Tuesday-Thursday schedule, from 1:00pm to 2:20pm in CIT 506.
Note that the schedule below is tentative, and may be revised as we go along.
GOFAI and connectionism are generally conceived of as direct competitors. However, their relationship is not quite that simple, since they are usually not applicable to the same sorts of problems. I'd like you to think about a specific type of problem - two player, zero-sum games, like chess and Go - where both approaches have been tried.
Your aim is to discuss the relative merits, successes, and failures of both GOFAI-like (which we'll take to include all search, knowledge-based, and explicit reasoning systems) and connectionist (which we'll take to include the direct prediction of best move or value using a neural net, of whatever type) systems. Where both types of methods have been combined in a single system, I'd like you to explain why, and to analyze what specific advantages the combination brings to the game. Your goal is to try and characterize what specific aspects of a two-player game GOFAI-style and connectionist approaches are best suited to, or to demonstrate that one approach has decisively "won".
I expect you to do substantial reading outside of the course materials, and to write a properly referenced report. You should cover as many individual games as you feel is necessary to cover the "space" of solutions. (I would be surprised if that is less than three.)
The assignment is due in class, in hardcopy, on March 15th. It may not be more than 8 pages in 11 point font (not including references). Please do NOT feel the need to necessarily use all of those pages; I am grading on insight, analysis, and coverage, NOT length.
Graded components will tentatively include two written homework assignments (20% each), and a substantial final project (60%).
Our readings are in large part drawn from the following books, all of which are highly recommended for more in-depth reading into this topic: