Archive for the ‘inductivism’ tag

Cognitive Extension, part 2   no comments

Posted at 5:39 pm in Uncategorized

I’m currently reading Donald Gillies‘ “Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Method” as a introduction to AI.  The author has outlined inductivism and falsificationism as scientific methodologies relevant to the development and research of AI.

Issues concerning the topic are philosophical, psychological, logical and practical, and Gillies refers to the Turing machine as an example of the latter two, and to the program BACON.1 as psychological and logical.

Gillies has identified the development of expert systems as the first major break-through in the field of AI, although he notes the need for rule-based systems to solve the knowledge representation problem. The first expert system DENDRAL was essentially a chemist; the first expert system to (arguably) pass the Turing test (in a matter of speaking) was MYCIN, which had a knowledge base of some 400 rules.  The main stumbling block here is known as the “Feigenbaum bottleneck”.

Expert system

I do have a question. Sir Francis Bacon wrote about scientific research which could/would/ought to be carried out “mechanically”. His examples include a mention of  a (circle-drawing) compass, which allows anyone to draw a perfect circle – something which by free-hand is near impossible, at least to most people. I find myself asking the question  – is using a compass to draw a circle a form of cognitive extension, even if it is, say, purely for fun, i.e. with no desire or intention to study the circle, use it to solve any problem, create a piece of art, etc. Does drawing a perfect circle with a compass = using a calculator to solve an equation?

Written by Terhi on November 3rd, 2010

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