Washington, August 20 (ANI): A computer similar to the Hal 9000 system in the movie '2010', which claims enjoying working with human beings and having stimulating relationships with them, may soon be created, thanks to a new research project.
Oregon State University researchers are pioneering the concept of "rich interaction" that can pave the way for computers that do want to communicate with, learn from and get to know humans better as persons.
The idea behind this "meaningful" interaction is one of the latest advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, in which a computer doesn't just try to learn from its own experiences, it listens to the user, tries to combine what it "hears" with its internal reasoning, and changes its program as a result.
When ordinary users spot the machine's errors they should be able to step in, and explain directly to the machine the logic it should be using.
"There are limits to what the computer can do just by its own observations and efforts to learn from experiences. It needs to understand not just what it did right or wrong, but why. And for that, it has to continue interacting with human beings and make constant changes in its own programming, based on their feedback," said Margaret Burnett, an associate professor of computer science at OSU.
According to the researchers, for a computer to be of optimal help to its user, it has to customize itself to the end user and get more personal.
"We all have fairly specific life experiences, personal preferences, ways of doing things, different types of jobs. For machine learning to reach its potential the computer and the user have to interact with each other in a fairly meaningful way, the computer really needs to get to know your situations and understand why it made a mistake, so that it can try not to make the same mistake again," Burnett said.
The researchers say that a major part of this challenge is to create interactive systems that are easy enough to operate without one needing a computer programmer's qualification, which they believe may be possible.
Another challenge before the researchers is to ensure that the learning in such systems happens to be a two-way street, as a stubborn human user may insist that the computer "learn" something that is incorrect.
Having recently received a 1million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation for their research, the OSU researchers now believe that the era of humans as passive observers in the field of artificial intelligence may be coming to a close.
"In the future we believe the computer should be like your partner. You help teach it, it gets to know you, you learn from each other, and it becomes more useful," Burnett said. (ANI)