score: 5 (5 votes) ·
Robin makes a good point. Whatever your opinion of Brooks and Brooks's vision for AI, the fact remains that the man has been incredibly productive. His position at the top of the AI food chain is not due to his incredible personal magnetism, or not principally. It's due to the fact that he builds real things, that you can pick up and hold in your hands, that do real things, that you can measure. It's easy enough to dismiss his robots, and his vision of intelligence, and his vision for how to get to "real" intelligence, as silly, and counterintuitive.
But of course Brooks has walked the walk. Repeatedly. Which is why people listen to Brooks, and why he is an authority. He produces. Don't think an embodied agent running some flavor of subsumption architecture is a good base for intelligence? All you have to do is build something that works better. Armchair quarterbacking in the sciences is about the most useless thing imaginable, and opining about how to build AI, without taking even the most trivial steps toward producing something real, is somewhere between misguided and masturbatory.