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Research in artificial intelligence takes place mostly at universities and large corporations, but both of these types of institutions have constraints that cause the research to proceed a certain way. In a university, basic research might be hindered by lack of funding. At a big corporation, the researcher might be encouraged to study a domain that is not squarely in the interest of public good–such as targeted advertising.
Oren Etzioni is the CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and in this episode we discuss AI research–from the doomful premonitions of Nick Bostrom to the unbridled optimism of Ray Kurzweil, as well as the realities of how AI research actually proceeds. Projects at the Allen Institute are defined and structured to solve problems in an intelligent, scalable fashion, so that engineering can proceed steadily from the local maxima of a problem domain to the global maxima. The Allen Institute seeks to bridge the gap by providing ample funding for open source AI research for the common good.
Oren is also speaking at the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York, September 26-27.