Secret Artificial Intelligence Project has been In The Works for 30 Years

Cycorp look like any other research company, striving to create newer technologies in order to sell them to other companies and make life easier for people. However, the company has revealed that they were working on a piece of advanced artificial intelligence for 30 years, keeping it a secret up until now.

They have stated that the secrecy was kept by working on their own. This means no outside investments, no debts and no news about the project of course. The information which revealed the project in question has apparently been released by Cycorp, having the project near the stage where it could be ‘applicable enough’.

People’s desire for a Star Trek-like computer, namely an artificially intelligent system that could receive instructions in plain, spoken language, without the need of millions and millions of hard-coded instructions, has been on the list of ‘to-do’ things for many companies.

However, the method of user interface in question has been stated countless times to be extremely hard to achieve. Despite the latter, Cycorp aims to do this by ‘codify general human knowledge and common sense’, having computers then make use of it. They apparently have been attempting to figure out the pieces of data humans rely on daily, the knowledge required to understand the world, and represent that in a formal manner so that machines can use to reason.

Cycorp has apparently been building this ‘brain out of software’ from scratch since 1984. The product’s name is called Cyc and it is allegedly not ‘programmed’ in the conventional sense, but more like ‘taught’. Building a computer software is more of a procedure-like approach, using flowcharts for example as guidelines and specifications on what the actual piece of software is to perform. Cycorp describes Cyc to be built more like educating a child, having to teach it things.

For example, Cyc is able to see “the white space rather than the black space in what everyone reads and writes to each other.” This gives Cyc the ability to comprehend and reason with things deemed achievable only by humans. Also, given that Cyc has a vast knowledge of everything, it could soon be installed as a normal operating system on almost everything, including robots.

The company has stated that Cyc is currently being used to teach math for sixth graders. While the program understands the math, it listens to what students have to say and performs diagnostics on their confusion. With this, it is then able to figure out what behaviour it can carry out that would be most useful in aiding them understand things.

Though teaching math is nothing special, it is just an example of what Cyc is able to do, having to emphasise its radical technique in approaching a problem and solving it based on individual and unique analytical resolutions.

Thank you Business Insider for providing us with this information

iFixit Tear Down The 1984 128K Macintosh

It is crazy to think that the Apple Mac is now over 30 years old, sure it came out the year I was born, so I wasn’t exactly capable of enjoying it at the time, but its certainly amazing to see just how far computer technology has come along in my own lifetime. To celebrate the 30 years of the Mac, the team of at iFixit decided to strip one apart and see just how repairable the system would be by modern standards.

30 years ago the Macintosh 128K went on sale for $2,495, which in today’s world would be more than $5500! Just look at the computer you can buy these days for over $5500! A staggering example of just how far we have come in the last 30 years, that being said, I don’t think I’ve ever owned a system that costs that much, even my current one would likely max out around $2,000 for a system integrator.

iFixit score the repairability of the systems they take apart on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being an absolute nightmare to repair and 10 being the easiest. The Mac scored a healthy 7/10 after their tests. They did find it difficult to open, and the fact that the RAM is soldered to the logic board was also a big problem. Fortunately the rest of it is big chunky components that are by today’s standards quite easy to work with, although I doubt many of us will need to open one up to fix it, it’s still fun to have a peak for old times sake.

Equipped with an 8 MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 128KB DRAM, a 9″ black and white CRT @ 512 x 342 pixels and 72 dpi and 400 KB total storage via a single-sided 3.5″ floppy mean the system is far from high-spec, but at the time this was a powerful and innovative machine. They’re also worth a small fortune, so if you have one in the garage, I wouldn’t suggest you take it apart any time soon, perhaps putting it on eBay would be a better idea.

Thank you Geeky Gadgets for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of iFixit.