Even though I specialize in deep learning at work I sceptical about achieving AGI (artificial general intelligence) using only neural networks (of any architecture). My friend and two time colleague Ben Goertzel has been working on a hybrid approach to AGI in the OpenCog organization with a large team for many years.

AIsentience.net

In my personal-time project AIsentience.net, I have been working on my own hybrid general AI framework for a number of years. Common Lisp is still my favorite language for research programming and the latest edition of my book Loving Common Lisp, or the Savvy Programmer’s Secret Weapon contains a section on using Armed Bear Common Lisp With DeepLearning4j. ABCL is implemented in Java and while not as performant as SBCL it offers interop with Java libraries like DeepLearning4j. For now, I am happy enough being able to train specific deep learning models for word2vec, seq2seq, and summarization and write functional wrappers around these models for easy access in Common Lisp code. Probably not a popular opinion but I also believe that symbolic systems (rules) and Bayesean graph representation and inferencing are (probably) necessary parts of an AGI development platform.

I use TensorFlow and Keras at work but I have experimented sufficiently with DeepLearning4j for several years and it is fine for my purposes. I did also experiment using Google’s unofficial Haskell bindings for TensorFlow and seriously considered using Haskell for my side project AIsentience.net but, frankly, I have much more experience using Common Lisp. For people with more Haskell experience, Haskell is a fine language for research programming.

My Summer in Illinois

It has been a year since Carol and I moved to Urbana/Champaign Illinois and I started a job at Capital One managing a machine learning team at the UIUC Research Park. Living in a university town is great - lots to do, but we still look forward to returning to our home in Sedona Arizona in (about)a year. I have spend 90 minutes on the phone this weekend with old friends in Sedona and look forward to seeing them again in person.

In addition to work I have re-started a very old hobby: playing the game of Go. I had not played a serious tournament game since 1980 but after starting to play at a local club at the university I spent a week in Williamsburg Virginia in July playing in the US Go Open Tournament. I am starting study with a professional Go player who runs the American Yunguseng Dojang - The online Go School.