CSCI 2951X: Reintegrating AI
(Spring 2018)
Overview

Schedule

Assignments

Grading

Resources

Overview


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.

Instructor
George Konidaris
Office: CIT 447
Email: gdk at cs dot brown dot edu

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Schedule


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.

DateAssigned Reading
January 25th Elephants Don't Play Chess, R.A. Brooks.
January 30th Class cancelled
February 1st Computer science as empirical inquiry: symbols and search.
A. Newell and H.A. Simon, CACM 1976.

Also read: Report on a general problem solver.
A. Newell, J.C. Shaw, and H.A. Simon. Technical report, Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1959.
February 6th CYC: Using Common Sense Knowledge to Overcome Brittleness and Knowledge Acquisition Bottlenecks. Lenat, Prakash, Shepherd. AI Magazine, 1985.
February 8th Extending the Soar Cognitive Architecture. Laird, GAIC 2008.
February 13th From Micro-Worlds to Knowledge Representation: AI at an Impasse. H.L. Dreyfus. In Mind Design II, Haugeland.
February 15th Shakey the Robot. N. Nilsson, ed. Technical Note 323, SRI International, April 1985.
February 20th Long weekend
February 22nd The Architecture of Mind: A Connectionist Approach, D.E. Rumelhart. In Mind Design II, chapter 8.
February 27th
March 1st
March 6th
March 8th
March 13th
March 15th
March 20th No class
March 22nd
March 27th Spring break
March 29th Spring break
April 3rd
April 5th
April 10th
April 12th
April 17th
April 19th
April 24th Slack
April 26th Slack


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Assignments


Assignment 1

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.

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Grading


Graded components will tentatively include two written homework assignments (20% each), and a substantial final project (60%).

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Resources


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:

  • Mind Design II, J. Haugeland, ed.
  • Computers & Thought, E.A. Feigenbaum and J. Feldman, eds.
  • Mindware, 2nd edition, Andy Clark, ed.
  • Being There, Andy Clark.
  • Cambrian Intelligence, R.A. Brooks.
Also worth reading, but much more about philosophy than CS, is:
  • Mind and Cognition, 2nd ed, W.G. Lycan, ed.

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