- Wave 1 AI is based on handcrafted knowledge where experts took knowledge that they had about a particular domain and they described in in rules that they could fit in the computer. The computer was then used to explore the implications of those rules. Applications included ches s. This approach can be very successful when the rules are well known in advance. Such systems have no learning capability and poor handling of uncertainty.
- Wave 2 AI is based on statistical learning and has been very successful in areas such as voice recognition and analysing photographs. However it is very dependent of specially engineered statistical techniques appropriate to the particular domain, often using large data sets. Such approaches, while successful in doing the predefined task lack reasoning capabilities. A mathematical techniques, referred to as neural nets, is used to distinguish between different patterns.
- We now need a third wave of AI technology linked to contextual adaption to produce systems than build explanatory models which allow them to characterize real-world phenomena because it is clear humans are doing things in a different way.
In 1967 I was asked to come up with ideas as to how one of the most complex commercial applications (a contract procing system dealing with about 250,000 customers and 5000 products) could be moved to the next generation of computers. I saw the market place as posing complex real-world problems and that what was needed was a system that could dynamically interact with the sales staff. I concluded that the top priority was to have a system that the sales staff could understand and control - and this required the system to be able to explain what it was doing in terms that the sales staff could understand - which meant using a common language and having a communication "window" which did not overload the human short term memory. Within the year I have discovered that my "specialist" proposal could be generalized to become task independent, and potentially able to cope with poorly defined and fuzzy information. CODIL (COntext Dependent Information Language) was created. By the early 1970s I found a model which had started as a solution to a complex commercial problem could handle a wide range of tasks including a powerful heuristic problem solver called TANTALIZER.