As a researcher in artificial intelligence, I realize how impressive it is to have a computer beat a top Go player, a much tougher technical challenge than winning at chess. Yet it's still not a big step toward the type of artificial intelligence used by the thinking machines we see in the movies. For that, we need new approaches to developing A.I.
We have a thriving tech community, but also a wealth of other industries in New York. Great products and innovations get built when there's a high-bandwidth link between the builders and the customers of those products, and so NYC is the right place to be if you want to disrupt one of the few trillion dollars of industries headquartered here.
Research is by definition exploratory, which means that (a) we do not know what will work and (b) we need to explore many paths, we need a lot of diversity of research directions in the scientific community. So I can only tell you about my current gut feelings and visions of where I see important challenges and opportunities that appeal to my personal aesthetics and instincts.
For the past century, the price and performance of computing has been on an exponential curve. And as futurist Ray Kurzweil observed, once any technology becomes an information technology, its development follows the same curve, so we are seeing exponential advances in technologies such as sensors, networks, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The convergence of these technologies is making amazing things possible.