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Can a Computer Invent?

Since college times, Dr. Val Tsourikov pursued a very ambitious goal – to build an intelligent software system with so sophisticated AI engine that it would be able to invent new technologies. To design a silicon inventor – that was a project idea. His 1983 Ph.D. thesis described revolutionary AI software which was able to generate novel methods of signal detection in space automatically.  


In 1987 in order to expand the scope of the software Val founded an Intelligent Systems Lab at Minsk Radio-Engineering Institute, two years later researchers of the lab formed private company Invention Machine Lab. The company launched the software system in 1989.


The level of interest from industry was very high, and Dr. Tsourikov went to Boston to found Invention Machine Corporation. The company raised several rounds of investment from Intel Capital, Motorola, Citigroup, Dassault Systemes, RRE Ventures, Altamira. The infusion of capital helped to develop unique family of AI software systems called TechOptimizer (now Goldfire). The software included several knowledge bases, such as physical and chemical effects, elements of theory of inventive problem solving, models of technology evolution, value-engineering analysis.


Among early adopters of new technology were General Electric, Boeing, Ferrari, NASA, Motorola, Xerox, Honda, Unilever, Eastman Kodak, Jet Propulsion Lab, Allied Signals.


After success of pilot TechOptimizer program, Procter & Gamble decided to implement the software worldwide, organizing training courses for 11,000 engineers. Successful implementation of the software in the U.S. triggered high interest in Europe and Asia. Mitsubishi Research Institute financed joint program with IMCorp to create local version of the software and implement it across high-tech industry in Japan. In South Korea major companies, including Samsung and LG, started to implement TechOptimizer on a large scale. Now the software is being actively distributed in China, too.

In his keynote speech at 2014 TRIZfest conference in Prague Dr. Tsourikov showed how fast evolution of creative computers will lead to a new form of civilization, in which creative software systems will become equal partners with human creators of new technologies, theories, art, music, literature, films. Despite promising results in finance and art, Val’s main focus always remained in creating true invention machine – software that is able to invent novel technologies. 

At the International conference TRIZfest on September 15, 2017 Dr. Tsourikov announced a new project called True Machina. This is the most ambitious and promising concept in the area of automated creativity. 


Compare to TechOptimizer, which plays mainly supportive role in creativity process, new intelligent system will have three critical differentiators.

First, by executing unique creative operation, called novelty propagation, True Machina transforms theoretical effects into novel technical inventions, acting as a very knowledgeable partner for a human user.

Second, the system works in generative inventions mode, i.e. it creates new inventions non-stop; as soon as a scientific effect is discovered, True Machina immediately generates new inventions based on this effect.

Third, the software includes all available information to help users in validating new concepts.

Basically, the goal of True Machina is to launch completely novel process of inventing  technologies, when a series of new inventions is created immediately after theoretical effects are published. This approach with dramatically reduce time from theory to technology and by generating millions of potential inventions will create very large knowledge base of inventions even before human users understand the needs. Basically True Machina will be inventing new technological world in advance.

Dr.Val Tsourikov was named the Hero of U.S. Manufacturing by FORTUNE Magazine.

Source: FORTUNE Magazine, May 25, 1998

WSJ: This is the first program that actually aids the process of invention

NASA invited Dr. Tsourikov to be a keynote speaker
for annual technology show and conference

Training class at Xerox

After demonstration of AI technology to Intel.
Inside brown box was a server with semantic processor.

With Dr. Alex Korzun and Dave Tingley

Getting ready for a 5-day course at Eastman Kodak.

With Dr. Leo Batchilo

Mitsubishi Research Institute
organized implementation of the software across Japan

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