The representation of knowledge and the relevance of biological models at the Symposium on the Mechanization of Thought Processes, 1958

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Abstract

"Mechanization of Thought Process"was an international conference involving researchers from academia, government, industry, and the military that took place in the U.K. in 1958. It saw the first presentation of McCarthy's Advice Taker and of Selfridge's Pandemonium, and one of the first expositions of Rosenblatt's Perceptron, as well as presentations on new programming languages, cybernetic experiments, and simple diagnostic systems. This article describes the conference and the occasionally boisterous debates that took place, drawing out the common challenges faced by researchers at the time, focusing on the relevance of biological models for mechanized systems of thought processing and the difficulty of embodying knowledge or context in a system to enable it to solve problems effectively. Particular attention is paid to the methodological criticisms of work in both machine translation and in what we would now consider to be artificial intelligence made by the Israeli linguist and philosopher Yehoshua Bar-Hillel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Volume45
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2023

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