Smart Programs Read Shakespeare

Patrick Winston is a researcher at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab. He believes that creating better artificial intelligence is not a matter of more powerful processing. First, he thinks, we have to teach computers how to think more like humans. “We are a symbolic species,” he says. “We painted caves early in our modern evolution. We began to develop the ability to describe events, and then we could string those events together in sequences, and those sequences became stories.”  And those stories allowed us to develop our intellect. “Storytelling makes it possible to teach, to learn, and to be creative.” If we want a computer intelligence to be creative, then we have to teach it to understand not simply language, but stories.  Winston has created a computer program that…

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