State Could Become `Silicon Valley' of Artificial Intelligence / Says Hamilton

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter Oklahoma could become the "Silicon Valley" of artificial intelligence as the result of a $50,000 grant by the Oklahoma Legislature toward a new $110,000 project, Rep. Jeff Hamilton, D-Midwest City, said Thursday.

The grant was made to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. With another $60,000 from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center plus public and private entities, a program called BEST (Base of Expert System Technology) was formed.

The BEST program implements a spinoff of artifical intelligence known as expert systems, which basically mimics the decision making process in humans. It could lead to Oklahoma becoming the leader in artificial intelligence, just as the Silicon Valley in California became the leader of computer technology in the early 1980s, he said.

"This program is another great example that Oklahoma is not sitting around waiting for economic recovery to just happen," said Hamilton. "Oklahoma business and government are working together to make it happen by using the latest in computer technology to boost productivity, increase efficiency and create jobs.

"We have planted the seed which will allow Oklahoma to eventually be called a high-tech state."

Dr. Robert Hurst, professor with health science center's department of urology and one of the team leaders on the project, said the concept of artificial intelligence computer systems has been around since the 1950s.

There are virtually no limits to the application of the artificial intelligence system, Hurst said, with plenty of opportunity for private industries to get involved. …