Show Reference: "The next 50 years: A personal view"

The next 50 years: A personal view. Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, Vol. 1 (July 2012), pp. 92-99, doi:10.1016/j.bica.2012.03.002 by Patrick H. Winston
    abstract = {I review history, starting with Turing's seminal paper, reaching back ultimately to when our species started to outperform other primates, searching for the questions that will help us develop a computational account of human intelligence. I answer that the right questions are: What's different between us and the other primates and what's the same. I answer the what's different question by saying that we became symbolic in a way that enabled story understanding, directed perception, and easy communication, and other species did not. I argue against Turing's reasoning-centered suggestions, offering that reasoning is just a special case of story understanding. I answer the what's the same question by noting that our brains are largely engineered in the same exotic way, with information flowing in all directions at once. By way of example, I illustrate how these answers can influence a research program, describing the Genesis system, a system that works with short summaries of stories, provided in English, together with low-level common-sense rules and higher-level concept patterns, likewise expressed in English. Genesis answers questions, notes abstract concepts such as revenge, tells stories in a listener-aware way, and fills in story gaps using precedents. I conclude by suggesting, optimistically, that a genuine computational theory of human intelligence will emerge in the next 50 years if we stick to the right, biologically inspired questions, and work toward biologically informed models.},
    author = {Winston, Patrick H.},
    doi = {10.1016/j.bica.2012.03.002},
    issn = {2212683X},
    journal = {Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures},
    keywords = {cognition, connectionism, philosophical, symbolism},
    month = jul,
    pages = {92--99},
    posted-at = {2012-08-31 17:11:46},
    priority = {2},
    title = {The next 50 years: A personal view},
    url = {},
    volume = {1},
    year = {2012}

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According to Patrick Winston, our mental development suddenly diverged from that of the Neanderthals and that raises two central questions: What makes us different from other primates and what is similar.

Patrick Winston differentiates three different kinds of models:

  • those that mimic behaviour
  • those that make predictions
  • those that increase understanding

Patrick Winston differentiates two kinds of cognitive performance:

  • reactive, "thermometer"-like behavior,
  • predictive, "model making" behavior

Patrick Winston says that Rodney Brooks was wrong in neglecting "model making", representational processes in human cognition.

Patrick Winston says that "asking better, biologically inspired questions" will make our AI dreams come true, because the space of possible solutions to the AI problem is large and looking close to a known one (natural intelligence) makes success more likely.

Patrick Winston says that neural nets are a mechanism rather than a method.

Patrick Winston states that predictive simulation is enabled by considerable reuse of perceptual and motor apparatus

The lateral geniculate nucleus (lgn) is described as some sort of waystation.

The lateral geniculate nucleus (lgn) receives visual, auditory and higher cognitive input. According to Winston, 80% of lgn input is non-visual.

Patrick Winston calls perception "guided hallucination"