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To Reach Human-Level Intelligence, AI Systems Must Truly Understand Language

The original goal of human-like artificial intelligence was abandoned decades ago in favor of less ambitious approaches, two cognitive scientists argue in a new book. If that initial vision is to be realized, they say, AI systems will require a full understanding of language and meaning, the development of which remains a daunting — but doable — challenge.

In Linguistics for the Age of AI, published by MIT Press, co-authors Marjorie McShane and Sergei Nirenburg, both faculty in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and co-directors of the Language-Endowed Intelligent Agents Lab, present a novel approach to language processing for AI systems.

Common Understanding of Turing Test Misses the Mark, Scholar Claims in New Book

A computer’s ability to convincingly respond to questions like a person — thereby “passing” what has come to be known as the Turing Test — is widely regarded as a practical measure of artificial intelligence. But Bram van Heuveln, a lecturer in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, contends that this common interpretation misses the important point that British mathematician Alan Turing was trying to make in his 1950 paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.”

Van Heuveln makes the case for a new understanding of the Turing Test in a chapter of the book Great Philosophical Objections to Artificial Intelligence: The History and Legacy of the AI Wars, published this month by Bloomsbury.

Humanities Students Launch Online Exhibition To Highlight Final Projects

Claudia Sanchez and her classmates at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had been looking forward to seeing their Creative Seminar work on display in the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. As graduating students in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), this gallery show was supposed to be the culmination of four years of intense learning and hard work.

Event to Celebrate New Book Exploring Promise and Pitfalls of Citizen Science

Involving the public in scientific research can help to solve complex environmental problems, but according to Science by the People, a new book co-authored by sociologists Abby Kinchy of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Aya Kimura of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, effective “citizen science” requires an awareness of potential social dilemmas.

Rensselaer Celebrates Philanthropic Partnerships

On Saturday, October 5, more than 500 members of the Rensselaer community celebrated  individuals and organizations supporting student scholarship and education at the 2019 Coast to Coast East: Scholarship Dinner and Signature Performance by Josh Groban. The event took place during a weekend of festivities that began on October 3 celebrating the Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., 18th President of Rensselaer, who achieved 20 years of leadership this month.

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.