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Short Essay Page

Basic Info

  • Length of essay: Assuming equivalent of: A4 paper size, 12-point Helvetica, no less than 7 pages and no more than 12, not counting references.
  • Topic may be one of your choice from a list of topics provided by the instructors.
  • Hand-in Schedule
    • Choice of topic: by noon, Tuesday September 18
    • Draft Due: Nov 6 (Mandatory, but not part of grade)
    • Final Version Due: Before midnight Nov 30

Short Essay Topics Choices

Please take note: Those with the same topic are not allowed to collaborate on the writing - the essays are supposed to be your own work.
You may, however, share papers on the topic that you find useful.

Paolo Rovelli: The role of logic in AGI
Fabrizio Fornari: Attention: What can we learn from psychology
Páll Haraldsson: Comparison of Weak and Strong AI
Helgi Leifsson: The role of logic in AGI
Hrafn Eiríksson: Selected recent AGI architectures: What are they lacking?
Sabrina Kirstein: What are Recent AGI Architectures Lacking?
Kristján Tryggvason: The role of logic in AGI

Short Essay Q & A

Here I will post questions that may come up during your writing of your essay, in relation to your topic and the various themes of the course.

Q: ”… mathematicians usually skip the introduction (and the conclusions), a practice not to be emulated.”
A: I agree, it is an annoying habit, and does the rest of the scientific community a big disfavor.

Q: ”… the introduction doesn't have a single references. I felt relieved. I felt bad that my own introduction does have too few. In your case it feels appropriate.”
A: There is no rule that says there must be references in the intro – or anywhere, for that matter, it must be decided by need rather than being a hard rule.

Q: “My girlfriend talked me out of quoting anything. She says it's bad form. She has a M.S. (in food science, mainly chemistry) and I only have a B.S. So I didn't argue too much. Maybe shes's wrong or at least it depends on the discipline. I can she that it's ok for literature. And done much in philosophy(AI)?”
A: Same comment applies here as above: it is based on the needs of the author and his material whether it is appropriate to quote. It is silly to put down a hard rule saying “quotes are to be avoided”. It is the first time I hear this idea, frankly. If you want a hard-and-fast rule, it would be this: If there is a good reason to quote something, then it must be quoted.

Q: “In the rest of the paper you number references in brackets. And for instance you [43] in other places: [43] Wang, P. (2004). Toward a unified artificial intelligence, in In Papers from the 2004 AAAI Fall Symposium on Achieving Human-Level Intelligence through Integrated Research and Systems, pp. 83–90.
A: I am not a big fan of the numbering system, because it is annoying to the reader. First, when you see a number like that you have no idea who the author is. So you have to look in the back, even if it is a very well known author that you have heard about often you must look in the back when you first come across e.g. [41]. Second, if there are many references the reader will have a hard time remembering which number referred to which reference – so you have to look in the back AGAIN! And possibly many times during your reading. Third, if the number system is not based on alphabetical listing and you want to look at just the reference list for a reference to a particular author you must *read through the reference list from the top* to find it! Annoying!

Q: “Isn't it wrong to reference the quote like you do [above]? Even if you would have used APA?”
A: Well, preferably there should be a specific page number for the exact quote, but since it's not a long paper it wouldn't take you too long to find that quote. At least you have the paper and can find it if you need to…


/var/www/ailab/WWW/wiki/data/pages/public/short-essay-page.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/20 13:50 by thorisson