Ai

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9780465001040: Ai

In 1956, a group of young scientists predicted that the whole range of human intelligence would be programmable within their own lifetimes. Nearly half a century later their field has expanded and developed - with mixed results. Based on interviews with the major players in the field, "AI" chronicles their dramatic successes and breakthroughs and discusses the next necessary breakthrough - the simulation of common sense - whilst at the same time raising profound philosophical questions about mind and soul which arise from the subject.

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Review:

Perhaps no venture in the history of computing has produced so many high hopes and attracted so many brilliant minds, yet produced so many daunting failures as the quest for artificial intelligence. Daniel Crevier' fascinating and deeply researched history of the AI traces the search for machine intelligence from the optimistic first experiments of the mid 1950s, through the classic projects of the next two decades, on to the mixed fortunes of the commercial AI ventures that began in the 1980s. In addition to being a history of an intellectual field, it's a portrait gallery of the brilliant and often eccentric people who built it. Crevier's discussion does not demand a programming background, yet takes the reader deeply into theoretical issues that make us ponder the phenomenon of human intelligence.

From Library Journal:

"Tumultuous" may not be the right adjective to describe the history of artificial intelligence. Certainly, it has promised great things that often failed to materialize, so that the general effect has been more disappointment than tumult. Even the few success stories, like Mycin and Xcon, have their problems. Xcon, the expert configurator used by Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), eventually began to crumble from its own weight. The cost to keep knowledge bases current proved to be far higher than anticipated. One joke at DEC is that Xcon replaced 75 systems people, but the expert system requires 150 to maintain it. Crevier traces the history, knows the people, and understands the technology. He concludes with a question: Are we creating the next species of intelligent life on Earth? He sees the answer as a major concern of the 21st century. For computer and technology collections.
- Hilary Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Crevier, Daniel
Published by Basic Books (1994)
ISBN 10: 0465001041 ISBN 13: 9780465001040
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