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History of Artificial Intelligence Before Computers

History of Artificial Intelligence Before Computers
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Author(s): Bruce MacLennan (University of Tennessee, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch277


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The history of artificial intelligence (AI) is commonly supposed to begin with Turing’s (1950) discussions of machine intelligence, and to have been defined as a field at the 1956 Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. However, the ideas on which AI is based, and in particular those on which symbolic AI (see below) is based, have a very long history in the Western intellectual tradition, dating back to ancient Greece (see also McCorduck, 2004). It is important for modern researchers to understand this history for it reflects problematic assumptions about the nature of knowledge and cognition: assumptions that can impede the progress of AI if accepted uncritically.

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