Siri Architect Grapples With How to Make AI Less Artificial


PCMag – William Mark, PhD, President of SRI’s Information and Computing Science Division, spoke at the recent A.I. World event in San Francisco. Mark, one of the people behind the creation of Apple’s Siri, is less focused on using AI for what humans cannot and more on the “need to make artificial intelligence less artificial.” He believes the industry needs to focus more on deep learning so that AI platforms can engage in real-time conversations. Right now, most AI technology relies on explicit rules and inference mechanisms to know what to say next. Mark believes the key to getting consumers to trust these machines is to be more human, and that means improving how the platforms infer intent.

Mark predicts that this kind of deep learning could help improve our quality of life. He gave the aging population as an example. “It’s a huge cultural and economic issue [and there are] many aspects to that problem. People’s minds immediately go to ‘robotic help in the home?’ And we are working on that. But we’re also looking at companionship. Many elderly people are lonely and that leads to cognitive decline. We’re working on systems—think ‘Super Siri’—which will bring in family, help bring back memories people had in the past, and it is all tied into sensors in the home,” said Mark. LINK