MIT Plans to Rebuild Artificial Intelligence from the Ground Up
After 50 years and countless dead ends, incremental progress, and modest breakthroughs, artificial intelligence researchers are asking for a do-over. The $5 million Mind Machine Project (MMP), a patchwork team of two dozen academics, students and researchers, intends to go back to the discipline’s beginnings, rebuilding the field from the ground up. With 20/20 hindsight, a few generations worth of experience, and better, faster technology, this time researchers in AI — an ambiguous field to begin with — plan to get things right.

As a student of computer science & science fiction, I’ve fantasized about tweaking some ‘neural network’ until it became 'sentient’ enough to talk to me (and keep me entertained while coding at 3am in a computer cluster).

The funny thing is presupposing there is some magic threshold that you cross into “AI”. Far more likely the path to intelligence is a exceedingly long, and gently sloping.

The reality is that when we create a machine that talks with us, it does far more to undermine our self-impression than it does to inspire self-awe.