According to Stephen Cass, "Unthinking Machines", Technology Review 5/4/2011:
Some of the founders and leading lights in the fields of artificial intelligence and cognitive science gave a harsh assessment last night of the lack of progress in AI over the last few decades.
During a panel discussion—moderated by linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker—that kicked off MIT's Brains, Minds, and Machines symposium, panelists called for a return to the style of research that marked the early years of the field, one driven more by curiosity rather than narrow applications.
The panelists were Marvin Minsky, Patrick Winston, Emilio Bizzi, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Partee, and Sydney Brenner. Based on Cass's short summaries, it sounds like an interesting discussion. I hope that recordings and/or transcripts will be available at some point — all that I've found so far is the symposium's advertisement on the MIT150 web site, another write-up at MIT News, and a few other notes here and there. (Video for one of the other MIT150 symposiums is available here, so perhaps this will appear in time.)
But Cass's brief sketch of what Chomsky said was enough to provoke a lengthy and interesting response from Peter Norvig: "On Chomsky and the Two Cultures of Statistical Learning".
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