Why is it that our computers have no grasp of ordinary life? Wouldn't it be great if your search engine knew enough about life so that it could conclude that when you typed in "a gift for my brother", it knew that because he had just moved into his first apartment that he could probably use some new furniture? Or if your cell phone knew enough about emergencies that, even though you had silenced it in the movie theater, it could know to ring if your mother were to call from the hospital? Or if your personal digital assistant knew enough about people that it could know to cancel a hiking trip with a friend who had just broken a leg?  
Push Singh of the MIT MediaLab describes a novel approach to achieving machine intelligence by teaching machines how to reason heuristically.