KBEmacs: Where's the AI?

AI Magazine 

The Programmer's Apprentice project uses the domain of programming as a vehicle for studying (and attempting to duplicate) human problem solving behavior. Recognizing that it will be a long time before it is possible to fully duplicate an expert programmer's abilities, the project seeks to develop an intelligent assistant system, the Programmer's Apprentice (PA), which will help a programmer in various phases of the programming task. The Knowledge-Based Editor in Emacs (KBEmacs) is an initial step in the direction of the PA. A question that has been asked about KBEmacs is, "Where's the AI?" Going beyond this, the article uses the development of KBEmacs as an example that illustrates a number of general features of the process of developing an applied AI system. As part of this, the article compares the way AI ideas are used in KBEmacs with the way they were used in the initial proposal for the PA.