Sunday, August 14, 2005

"The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves." [McCarthy et al. 1955]

It's interesting, to investigate the very roots of a field so varied and strange as AI. At the beginning, when people were just beginning to investigate the possibility of machine intelligence, there seems to have been a much wider and more interesting engagement with the concepts 'in theory'. But their ideas of implementations were like cartoons of even what Weak AI projects do these days. It's a terrible tendency, to generalize and simplify what you don't understand into what you think you do. It leaves you with giant floating concepts which don't actually attach to anything in a functional way.

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