General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else.
There was a failure to recognize the deep problems in AI; for instance, those captured in Blocks World. The people building physical robots learned nothing.
What magical trick makes us intelligent? The trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle.
No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it's doing; but most of the time, we aren't either.
If you just have a single problem to solve, then fine, go ahead and use a neural network. But if you want to do science and understand how to choose architectures, or how to go to a new problem, you have to understand what different architectures can and cannot do.
By the way, it was his simulations that helped out in Jurassic Park - without them, there would have been only a few dinosaurs. Based on his techniques, Industrial Light and Magic could make whole herds of dinosaurs race across the screen.
I believed in realism, as summarized by John McCarthy's comment to the effect that if we worked really hard, we'd have an intelligent system in from four to four hundred years.
When David Marr at MIT moved into computer vision, he generated a lot of excitement, but he hit up against the problem of knowledge representation; he had no good representations for knowledge in his vision systems.
Computer languages of the future will be more concerned with goals and less with procedures specified by the programmer.
We wanted to solve robot problems and needed some vision, action, reasoning, planning, and so forth. We even used some structural learning, such as was being explored by Patrick Winston.
Stanley Kubrick knew we had good graphics around MIT and came to my lab to find out how to do it. We had some really good stuff. I was very impressed with Kubrick; he knew all the graphics work I had ever heard of, and probably more.
An ethicist is someone who sees something wrong with whatever you have in mind.
In general we are least aware of what our minds do best.
We rarely recognize how wonderful it is that a person can traverse an entire lifetime without making a single really serious mistake -- like putting a fork in one's eye or using a window instead of a door.
Societies need rules that make no sense for individuals. For example, it makes no difference whether a single car drives on the left or on the right. But it makes all the difference when there are many cars!