A group of Silicon Valley roboticists who developed Shakey, a pioneer mobile robot project, gathered last night at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to dedicate the tall, wheeled machine as an IEEE Milestone. Joining the group were other robotics visionaries, IEEE officers and local IEEE section members, and fans of computing history. Shakey, developed at SRI International between 1966 and 1972, was honored as the world's first mobile, intelligent robot.
The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT has announced that Catherine Dulac of Harvard University is the winner of the 2017 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience. She was awarded the prize for her contributions to the understanding of how pheromones control brain function and behavior and the characterization of neuronal circuits underlying sex-specific behaviors. The Scolnick Prize is awarded annually by the McGovern Institute to recognize outstanding advances in any field of neuroscience.
The domain of computer chess playing is suggested as a general means for quantifying the distance by which we have not yet achieved our stated objectives in artificial intelligence. The game of chess traditionally has been considered, at least in Western societies, as the epitome of intellectual skill and accomplishment. Herbert Simon and later John McCarthy, among the cofounders of AI, have referred to chess as the Drosophila of AI, speaking metaphorically about the importance for genetics of Thomas Morgan's early research with fruit flies, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1933. This metaphor is appropriate, since the quantification of human chess play has been institutionalized over the last 40 years by giving every tournament player a numerical rating, a metric that also can be used to measure progress in machine performance.
"I like to think that since I was about 19, I have studied human decision-making and problem-solving," Dr. Simon said in a Post-Gazette interview last fall. He earned a doctorate in political science at the University of Chicago in 1943 and took teaching positions at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the newly established industrial administration school at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
Born in the vicarage in Lenham, Kent, he was the second of the parish priest's three children. He joined The Pilgrim's school, Winchester, in 1932 and became a senior chorister at the cathedral. Three years later, he won the top entrance scholarship to Winchester College, where his precocious talents in mathematics and music flourished.