The European Research Council (ERC) is a public body established in the year 2007 by European Commission for funding of scientific and technological research conducted within the European Union (EU). The ERC budget is over €13 billion from 2014 – 2020 and comes from the Horizon 2020 programme, a part of the European Union’s budget.
In the year 2019, ERC runs out of budget to fund more of such research projects. However, it is still capable to fund for one more project.
And there comes the most important and difficult decision that ERC needs to make.
Which research proposal should they finance?
The reviewing committee of the 2019 Advanced Grant of the ERC receives two proposals from top EU universities on the same topic: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
One team proposes to present their project that supports the concept of Strong AI. The other team proposes to present the project that supports the concept of Weak AI.
ERC also invites Researchers from other top EU universities as auditors.
Let us join for the battle in room A103 at 2 PM on 28-Nov-2017 to understand what the two teams have for ERC and put forth your questions, comments, suggestions and arguments 🙂
The battle is going to be really very interesting as the topic is very challenging on both the sides, be it “Strong AI” or “Weak AI”.
Some light on Strong AI and Weak AI –
As quoted by John Searle, an American philosopher, strong AI is “The appropriately programmed computer with the right inputs and outputs would thereby have a mind in exactly the same sense human beings have minds”.
The definition hinges on the distinction between simulating a mind and actually having a mind. Searle writes that “according to Strong AI, the correct simulation really is a mind. According to Weak AI, the correct simulation is a model of the mind”.
For a deeper understanding on strong AI and weak AI, let us see an experiment conducted by Searle and how he describes its outcome.
“Searle’s thought experiment begins with the hypothetical premise: suppose that artificial intelligence research has succeeded in constructing a computer that behaves as if it understands Chinese. It takes Chinese characters as input and, by following the instructions of a computer program, produces other Chinese characters, which it presents as output. Suppose, says Searle, that this computer performs its task so convincingly that it comfortably passes the Turing test: it convinces a human Chinese speaker that the program is itself a live Chinese speaker. To all of the questions that the person asks, it makes appropriate responses, such that any Chinese speaker would be convinced that they are talking to another Chinese-speaking human being.
The question Searle wants to answer is this: does the machine literally “understand” Chinese? Or is it merely simulating the ability to understand Chinese? Searle calls the first position “strong AI” and the latter “weak AI”. ”