Symbolism vs. Connectionism: A Closing Gap in Artificial Intelligence

AI was born symbolic and logic. The pioneers of AI have formalized many elegant theories, hypotheses, and applications, such as PSSH and expert systems. From the 1980s, the pendulum swung toward connectionist, a paradigm inspired by the neural connections in brains. With the growing amount of accessible data and ever stronger computing power, connectionist models gain considerable momentum in recent years. This new approach seems to solve many problems in symbolic AI but raises many new issues at the same time. Which one is better to account for human cognition and more promising for AI? There’s no consensus reached. However, despite their vast difference, people began to explore how to integrate them together. Hybrid systems have been proposed and experimented. Other people see them residing at different levels of one unified hierarchical structure. In recent years, it is increasingly realized that the gap is closing, simply because there’s no gap at all from the beginning. The debate is dying down, opening up new opportunities for future hybrid paradigms.[……]

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Is Artificial Love True Love?

There are two kinds of science fiction films, one of which makes me feel “WOW,” the other making me pause every five minutes and ponder why. Why does he/she do that? Why does that happen? Is there another way? If yes, what is it? If no, why? … Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence is one of the latter. To ask questions is to dig up the assumptions buried in the films. To further question those assumptions is to track down the allegorical connections between the fiction world and the real world. In this paper, I’ll discuss three questions that arose during my viewing.[……]

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