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.
SV-AI meets monthly. We discuss AI/AGI topics such as:
- Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Artificial Neural Networks, and Connectome Algorithms - Symbolic and SubSymbolic Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, and Artificial Intuition - Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Reductionism and Holism - Complexity theory, Model theory, Model Free Methods - Robotics and Robot Ethics - Language Understanding, Document understanding, Semantics, and NLP - Consciousness, Novelty, Curiosity, and Creativity in humans and computers - Neuroscience, Mind, Philosophy of Mind, and Theories of Mind - Available and Future Computer Hardware, AI in the Cloud, AI Development and Testing - Future impact of AI on us as individuals, our society, and our species. Potential risks.
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.