The important problems: first update

I recently asked what were the most important problems in 2007. I was fortunate enough to get two answers.

Peter Turney gave the most elaborate answer. He said Artificial Intelligence and getting computers to think in terms of analogies, is the most important problem. He backs up his claim with a reference. He then said that the second most important problem is understanding cooperation and how to improve cooperation. Fortunately, I work on this problem: I have done work in collaborative filtering and collaborative data exploration. I think we need to support better collaborative data intelligence through more flexible database techniques (this is currently my main research drive). Naturally, I will never solve this problem on my own: I only hope to contribute fragments.

Sérgio gave us the following two important problems:

  • Management of large collections of digital media (photos, video, audio). People are accumulating more and more and it is getting harder to find and share items. Microsoft has very good research on this.
  • Digital preservation. The long time preservation of digital content is still unsolved and is an active research field.

I think you can generalize the first problem to “manage large collections of data,” and if you accept that the solution involves collaborative techniques, then I also work on this problem.

So, all of you who stayed silent, what do you think are the important problems?

Are you working on the above problems. If not, why?

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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