Professor John McCarthy
Father of AI


From Here to Human-Level AI

A roadmap to human-level AI presented developed from an invited talk at KR-96.

This article is the basis of an invited talk at KR-96 in 1996 November. It has been modified from the version that appeared in the preprints of that meeting.

It is not surprising that reaching human-level AI has proved to be difficult and progress has been slow - though there has been important progress. The slowness and the demand to exploit what has been discovered has led many to mistakenly redefine AI, sometimes in ways that preclude human-level AI - by relegating to humans parts of the task that human-level computer programs would have to do. In the terminology of this paper, it amounts to settling for a bounded informatic situation instead of the more general common sense informatic situation.

Overcoming the "brittleness" of present AI systems and reaching human-level AI requires programs that deal with the common sense informatic situation - in which the phenomena to be taken into account in achieving a goal are not fixed in advance.

We discuss reaching human-level AI, emphasizing logical AI and especially emphasizing representation problems of information and of reasoning. Ideas for reasoning in the common sense informatic situation include nonmonotonic reasoning, approximate concepts, formalized contexts and introspection.

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