Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Probe Computer 'Commonsense Knowledge'

08.10.2009
Challenge a simple pocket calculator at arithmetic and you may be left in the dust. But even the most sophisticated computer cannot match the reasoning of a youngster who looks outside, sees a fresh snowfall, and knows how to bundle up for the frosty outdoors.

For artificial intelligence scientists, enabling computers to have such human-level intelligence requires a commonsense knowledge base that can evolve and learn new things. But it's an elusive goal.

"It's been the Holy Grail of artificial intelligence research since its early days to answer questions that a young child can answer about the world," says Robert Sloan, professor and head of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "We're still a long way from that."

Sloan and colleague Gyorgy Turan, professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science at UIC, hope to build theoretical foundations that will bring artificial intelligence closer to everyday human reasoning. They were recently awarded a three-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop algorithms for use in building commonsense knowledge bases that can evolve.

"You can view this evolving process as a kind of learning about the world by a computer," said Turan. "Our task is to understand the problem, find useful mathematical models, understand the basic mathematical properties and, hopefully, provide some efficient computational methods and algorithms in those models."

Part of the work will involve looking at the construction of current Web-based commonsense knowledge base systems, such as Cycorp's "Cyc" and MIT's "Open Mind Common Sense," that allow any user to enter bits of knowledge considered relevant, useful or interesting.

Turan and Sloan will consider questions such as how to deal with contradictory information that is entered and how to organize knowledge in formats that are useful for deriving further knowledge.

"The issue is how to process new information that comes in over time," said Sloan. "One crisply defined algorithmic problem is how do you incorporate the new information both efficiently and in a reasonable way? Of course, defining the meaning of 'reasonable' is a challenging problem in itself."

The UIC researchers will work with graduate students and postdoctoral staff to concentrate on the interaction between different subtasks of evolving commonsense knowledge bases and on developing efficient computational methods.

Sloan and Turan hope their work will find applications in the artificial intelligence field, possibly through improved robots and other automated devices.

"Currently we're studying abstract mathematical versions of these problems, but we hope the conclusions will lead to useful, practical tools," said Turan.

Paul Francuch | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht World first: 'Storing lightning inside thunder'
18.09.2017 | University of Sydney

nachricht New software turns mobile-phone accessory into breathing monitor
14.09.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>