Yeah, I just posted about my AI essay grader experience the other day in a thread on neurotic computers.
I think the issue of the quality of input data is a major point. There are people in the graphic adapter business who talk about a certain resolution being the same as the human eye. Well, I totally buy that. At some point it must be possible, but on the other hand, you've got this 3D vision that people have. Now you could say, oh that's just a stereo version, but it's actually more than that because the mind creates a single image from the input. So, you wouldn't just need the resolution of the human eye, you'd need the resolution of the human eye times two and then you'd need to process those two data streams to create a single image and that's a lot more than just saying you need a certain resolution.
Then you've got the other senses as well. I assume they're all doable at some point. But I think they're all necessary in order to have what we would call intelligence and the reason for this is that intelligence is a human measure. Without human senses, you can't really have juman intelligence. You might site a case like Helen Keller, but if you consider it, that story emphasizes the importance and complexity of tactile sensation, so rather than being an exception, it just demonstrates that human-like vision and hearing alone may not be enough to begin to speak of intelligence. After all, it is assumed that many mammals have similar sensory abilities to humans, but when was the last time you had a good coversation with a cat? Okay, I've talked to cats too, but I have to fill in the gaps a lot.
And to extend the Helen Keller example a bit, think of ferrel children. Here we have the counter example. Rather than a lack of senses what we have is a lack of social interaction. But if you read up on it, you get the impression that essentially ferrel children do have basic intelligence despite having no contact with other humans. It seeems that it is difficult to separate intelligence from sense and we can see that in the confusion of the two terms in everyday language.
In fact, we could even go so far as to apply the Derridian notion of the privledge of the effaced. That is a tricky way of saying that sense and intelligence are two sides of the same coin, but intelligence is a priveleged term presicely because it implies some unseen other value besides sense. However, a privileged term is often little more than a rhetorical or political illusion.
Without human senses, it's difficult for me to imagine how we can talk of human-like intelligence. Even 24bit XVGA and 7.1 surround sound is really quite primitive when compared to the senses of a mosquito. Show me a computer that can seek out mammalian blood in three dimensional space and I'll still be able to show you an unintelligent machine when it comes to human language.
It seems that the amazing things you can do with a computer are not so much about artificial intelligence as they are about organizing human intelligence. That's still amazing and great and wonderful, it's just not appropriate to call it artificial intelligence. It should be called organized human intelligence. There's nothing wrong with that.