Wed 7 Nov 2018 11:00 - 12:00 at Whittier - Gabriel

First off, you’re not going to learn anything about programming techniques, software development, or really, anything useful from this talk. I will tell you how a program I wrote for DARPA to help thwart terrorist plots turned into one that could write the following “haiku” when inspired by the phrase “loud guitar blues music”:

  tuned adrenalin
my music
  a beat-boogied headful

Along the way I will tell you two things:

  • how and why programming is stranger than you think

  • why real artificial intelligence needs to be a blend of proving theorems (in deference to John McCarthy) and seeing cats (in deference to Andrew Ng)

Geoffrey Jefferson, more or less debating Alan Turing, wrote: “Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain—that is, not only write it but know that it had written it.” [‘The Mind of Mechanical Man,’ British Medical Journal, 1949]

Stopping by Sums on a Snowy Mean Solar Day by the Roberts Frost and Harper

Whose sums these are I express I know.
His unit is in the body though;
He will not see me entering existing
To consider his sums operate up with snow.

My smaller horse must evaluate it interesting
To keep in without a family discriminating
Between the sums and polar form
The darkest mean solar day of the fundamental quantity.

He gives his influence devices an exit
To pass along if there is some statement.
The only other element is the use
Of benign context and yielding element.

The sums are logical, insensitive, and severe.
But I have expressions to position,
And large indefinite amounts to go before I sleep in,
And large indefinite amounts to go before I position.

In addition to his contributions to computer science, Gabriel has also come to be known for his distinctive style and artistic sensibilities. In 2003, ACM presented Gabriel with its Allen Newell Award, deeming him “CS’s original art-school bobby-dazzler" and noting his solo career spent as the “world’s most languidly mannered deluxe hacker.” Guy Steele once noted Gabriel’s lifelong obsession with Lisp and describes any in-person interaction with him as a "bespoke event, a louche ensemble of elegant affectations.”

Wed 7 Nov

Displayed time zone: Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey change