Artificial Intelligence Pioneers: Peter Norvig, Google

Artificial intelligence (AI) got a lot of press in 2016, not least because of the victory of Google’s AI program over Lee Sedol, the world’s best Go player. That triumph of machine over human elicited numerous responses, some enthusiastic and some anxious, all sharing the assumption that the goal of artificial intelligence is to achieve “human-level intelligence” or, as some predict, “superintelligence.”

“I don’t care so much whether what we are building is real intelligence,” says Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google. “We know how to build real intelligence—my wife and I did it twice, although she did a lot more of the work. We don’t need to duplicate humans. That’s why I focus on having tools to help us rather than duplicate what we already know how to do. We want humans and machines to partner and do something that they cannot do on their own.”