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Dave Steckler
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Where does AI actually begin? There was clearly some learning going on (and, amusingly, abused). At what level does learning + analysis + adaptation + goal become "AI"? While this attempt was most likely more marketing than computer science research; (specifically) why isn't it a form of AI?
It's cool and all...but people have been doing this for decades now. Even Nelson Minar himself seems embarrassed by the attention this is now getting (go read his comments on the linked Wired page). If this is truly interesting to you, go searching around the web for various GIS representations of huge datasets...the rivers thing is fine and all, but in the GIS world there are some truly stunning examples of coherent display of enormous quantities of data. Again, not that Nelson's rivers *aren't* cool...but state of the art in this type of GIS work is far beyond that level. Now, if he applied topographic relief shading to the river elevation based on some underlying DEM...I bet he'd have something...well, perhaps even cooler :-)
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Jan 6, 2012