A bit of a discussion broke out at this morning’s session over Shane Legg and Marcus Hutter’s paper, “Universal Intelligence: A Definition of Machine Intelligence” (Minds & Machines, vol. 17, no. 4, 2007, pgs. 391-444, arXiv:0712.3329v1). Following the convention of abbreviated reference to a paper by its authors’ last names, and as Hutter is pronounced “hooter,” this paper is referred to as “legs and hooters.” So there was this back and forth, “As the legs and hooters paper shows …” “You should look more carefully at legs and hooters.” “It can be hard to get you head around legs and hooters.” “We shouldn’t rush to embrace legs and hooters.” I exaggerate slightly, but I would imagine that there are better papers than Legg and Hutter’s on the subject of the definition of machine intelligence; it’s just that those other papers get passed over in favor of one granting a computer nerd the opportunity to say “legs and hooters” in all seriousness in front of a room full of people. I’ll bet that Legg and Hutter decided to collaborate on the basis that such a winning name combination guaranteed their rocket-like ascension in the ranking of most oft cited papers.