I like the idea of using the meetup idea suggestions list on the front page to help guide the topic selection. But I'd like to suggest a couple of things.
1. A meetup on a suggested topic *will not happen* unless there is a presenter, a leader, or some kind of organizer willing to pull it together. When I present something I take the time to make the slides, and to prep and practice the talk several times. Thankfully we have several members willing to do the same for topics they are competent and interested in. But simply posting a desire that a certain topic be discussed will not go anywhere unless we find a volunteer. I can volunteer to lead any discussion without a speaker and any movie matinee where you provide the movie but I will not (for instance) go out of my way to study AI techniques and algorithms that I don't personally believe in. I'll be happy to allocate meetups for Bayesian Nets, SVMs, and the like, even Quantum Computing and Fuzzy Logic but only if there is someone else that will do the presentation.
2. Several of the suggestions for cooperative efforts (program something together, play games, show demos) have problems of the nature "What are the others going to do while someone is programming". For these kinds of efforts I'd like to require three things: 1. A leader 2. Ten votes 3. The idea has to first be playtested in a private setting to prove that it is viable. If you and three friends can't make it work in 60 minutes or provide entertainment for 60 minutes, then it's not going to keep the AI MeetUp interested either.
We meet almost every second and fourth Sundays every month to discuss AI topics such as: - Symbolic and SubSymbolic Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, and Artificial Intuition - Complexity theory, Model theory, Model Free Methods - Semantic Web, Ontology based systems - Robotics and Robot Ethics - Linguistics, Document understanding, and Semantics - Evolutionary Computation - GA and GP - Computer Consciousness, Novelty, and Creativity - Neuroscience, Connectome Algorithms - Human Learning, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning - Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Reductionism and Holism - AI, Singularity, nanoTechnology, and the future
Our meetings typically consist of a roughly one hour presentation followed by another hour of discussion on any AI-related topic. We try to mix discussions of the latest relevant ideas with tutorials on AI and Philosophy fundamentals at a level accessible to everyone.
Several MeetUps have been video recorded with the intent to publish them on the web. Some are now available at http://videos.syntience.com and more will be added as they get through postproduction. We are webcasting some MeetUps live at http://ustream.tv/channel/ai-meetup and some of these webcasts are archived and available at the webcast site.