#2 Interview with AI Conference 2018

Vasily Mazin, the CRO in the laboratory Mind Simulation, spoke about modern approaches to the development of AI, methods of teaching virtual personalities and a little bit about the philosophical aspects of mind.
Interviewer - Elena Andreeva

The site Mind Simulation reported that you now have two projects: Core Expert - universal artificial intelligence, and Steve - an assistant. Tell us more about them: goals, audience, stage of development?

Core Expert is a universal intellectual core with a modular structure that can be used for various AI solutions. This is the main product of our laboratory. The ultimate goal of its development is the creation of universal artificial intelligence, the scope of which is limitless.

Designing Core Expert took about 10 years. We carried out theoretical development, algorithmic design of the main modules, and now for about a year we are in the implementation stage.

Steve is a core-based product: it uses the most of all the components in Core Expert. In fact, this is a demonstration of the capabilities of the system, which we plan to turn in the future into a full-fledged intellectual assistant. Now Steve is at an early stage of development, but is already in the public domain.

What devices is Steve available for?

So far there is only a browser version that is available on the site, we have not done the application yet, although it is in the plans. In the same place you can observe how AI grows and develops: every week we release news describing new features and capabilities.

Tell us about the audience of these projects. Is your segment B2B or B2C?

Core Expert is universal, we can build systems based on this core for solving various classes of tasks. And for Steve, we see two directions. The first is for people: to solve daily personal problems and tasks. And the second is for business when AI is used internally and helps all employees in their work.

In the description of the mission of the Mind Simulation laboratory states that its product, universal artificial intelligence, will not be trained in the dialogues of people. What databases do you plan to use and from which source?

Nowadays, the developers of most popular voice assistants use large corpuses of human language dialogues. Programs trained in such bases work without knowledge and understanding of what is at stake. Often, this leads to funny and frightening situations: there are many collections of users in the Internet with strange answers from “Alice” or “Alexa”. We tried different approaches and learning strategies. Considered various open databases and anthologies that exist. And they did not suit us, because the information there was either incomplete or not in the form in which we need it. Therefore, we have come to a hybrid learning model. The system has been conducting a dialogue with users for the third week and identifying gaps in knowledge. These spaces are used to form the vector of the request in a special program for obtaining knowledge.

The knowledge acquisition program works with a large corpus of texts. It uses well-known linguistic and statistical methods for studying information; formed a set of instances of knowledge. And the final decision about the addition is made by our experts.

Is the system supposed to have learning and self-learning functions?

The basics are laid now. In the early stages, inference will be a tool: for example, induction and deduction, analogies, fuzzy logic and imitation. In the future, we will endow him with curiosity and fantasy. We are moving in stages, so I can’t tell you exactly how “machine curiosity” will be realized: when we get to this stage, there will be a topic for a separate publication.

Tell please, how do you use other disciplines in the development of your artificial intelligence?

Core Expert thinking does not depend on the language of communication. We use linguistics in an auxiliary module for learning: to translate knowledge from a natural language into an internal representation of the core and vice versa. So far, we apply psychology only to an intellectual assistant: there we have the task of modeling a unique personality. In particular, we considered various personal models and the way they are reflected in the dialogue module, and now we are continuing to work on the formation of the virtual personality of our assistant.

Why is the hybrid approach called the future for artificial intelligence systems?

Now there are about 20 different technologies for AI solutions. At the same time, over the past 20-30 years no new technologies and programming paradigms have appeared, and there are big doubts that they will appear at all. Therefore, for further advancement, it is now necessary to combine existing approaches. Recently, more and more researchers are conducting experiments in this direction and are achieving quite good results.

Tell us more about the construction of hybrid system.

Hybrid systems combine several classic approaches to solving problems in the development of artificial intelligence. I divide them into two categories. The first is “weak hybrids”: when, within the framework of one task, separate technologies are used together and exchange data through a special interface. This may be the determination of the main components of neural networks by methods of genetic algorithms or the joint use of neural networks of different architectures. The second category is “strong hybrids”: when two models are so deeply embedded in each other that a new technology actually appears. Ideally, it inherits the strengths of each model. For example, it can be fuzzy neural networks, they combine a fuzzy logic apparatus and neural networks.

What do you think, what technical limitations today hinder the development of AI?

It seems to me that now there are no technical limitations. The available hardware power is enough to solve any intellectual problems, the only question is how to solve them. All the pieces of the puzzle we have, it remains only to put them correctly. But the emergence of a full-fledged computer mind - this is a question more complicated. It touches upon the concept of mind as such and the question of things necessary for the manifestations of its essence: body, emotions, feelings, and so on. This is not only an interdisciplinary task, but also a very philosophical one, because we are not yet completely clear what mind is.

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