Prof Peter Stone is the founder and director of the Learning Agents Research Group (LARG) within the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as associate department chair and chair of the University’s Robotics Portfolio Program.
He is also the President, COO, and co-founder of Cogitai, a startup company building AIs that learn continually from interaction with the real world – ie brains or continual-learning AI sof tware.
Peter’s main research interest is understanding how we can best create complete intelligent agents and focuses mainly on machine learning, multiagent systems, and robotics. Prof Stone has worked with modeling/creating robot soccer, autonomous bidding agents, autonomous vehicles, autonomic computing and social agents.
In 2007 he received the prestigious IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, given biannually to the top AI researcher under the age of 35, and in 2016 he was awarded the ACM/SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award.
In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many things, including:
- Why the general public is confused about artificial intelligence
- What is cutting edge in the space of robotics and AI
- How Peter and his team are perfecting soccer robotically
- The big problem with government action/inaction when it comes to AI
- The different types of AI and machine learning and advantages of each
- How Peter and others think about consciousness with machines
- The problems Peter sees with hype and fear mongering
- The implications to healthcare and quality of life in an society with increased automation
- Peter’s recommendations to governments and regulators on AI
- Why Peter believes we are still a long way off from AGI
- Why AI is overhyped and underhyped