The Dartmouth Conference of 1956 was the first meeting organized around the topic of artificial intelligence and first brought that term into broad use. The participants could not agree on the meaning of the topic or on the proper approaches to study it; those questions have persisted in some form to the present. The main objective of artificial intelligence that emerged was getting computers to performs tasks that, if performed by humans, would require intelligence.
Soon after the Dartmouth Conference, researchers began using studies of how humans solved problems to see if they could emulate that behavior with computers. Some research explored, in a different vein, how to exploit the characteristics of computers. Programmers soon taught computers simple rules of logic and allowed the machines to “learn” in artificial worlds, figuring out how elements of those worlds related to each other. Joseph Weizenbaum developed the ELIZA program, which simulates a psychoanalyst and seemingly satisfies the goal of artificial intelligence in that people interacting with it believe that its responses are those of a psychoanalyst. That program, however, does nothing more than cleverly rearrange the “patient’s” previous statements and insert a few stock phrases.
The development of expert systems brought corporate attention to artificial intelligence. Developers of these systems coded the knowledge of experts in various fields into rules that...
(The entire section is 338 words.)
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