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Artificial Intelligence, Logic and Formalizing Common Sense

Classics

"This is a position paper about the relations among artificial intelligence (AI), mathematical logic and the formalization of common-sense knowledge and reasoning. It also treats other problems of concern to both AI and philosophy. I thank the editor for inviting it. The position advocated is that philosophy can contribute to AI if it treats some of its traditional subject matter in more detail and that this will advance the philosophical goals also. Actual formalisms (mostly first order languages) for expressing common-sense facts are described in the references."Copies also available on J. McCarthy's Stanford Archivein Philosophical Logic and Artificial Intelligence, Richmond Thomason (ed), Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1989.


Circumscription - A form of non-monotonic reasoning

Classics

"Circumscription is a rule of conjecture that can be used by a person or program for `jumping to certain conclusions'. Namely, the objects that can be shown to have a certain property P by reasoning from certain facts A are all the objects that satisfy P. More generally, circumscription can be used to conjecture that the tuples that can be shown to satisfy a relation P(x, y, z) are all the tuples satisfying this relation. Thus we circumscribe the set of relevant tuples."Artificial Intelligence 13:27-39. Also in Readings in Artificial Intelligence, B.L. Webber and N.J. Nilsson (eds.), Tioga Publishing, 1981.


Epistemological Problems of Artificial Intelligence

Classics

"The epistemological part of Al studies what kinds of facts about the world are available to an observer with given opportunities to observe, how these facts can be represented in the memory of a computer, and what rules permit legitimate conclusions to be drawn from these facts. It leaves aside the heuristic problems of how to search spaces of possibilities and how to match patterns."See also: IJCAI 5, 1038-1044In Readings in Artificial Intelligence, B.L. Webber and N.J. Nilsson (eds.), Tioga Publishing, 1981.


A Tough Nut for Theorem Provers

Classics

"It is well known to be impossible to tile with dominoes a checkerboard with two opposite corners deleted. This fact is readily stated in the first order predicate calculus, but the usual proof which involves a parity and counting argument does not readily translate into predicate calculus. We conjecture that this problem will be very difficult for programmed proof procedures."Stanford Artificial Intelligence Project Memo No. 16


Situations, Actions and Causal Laws

Classics

"A formal theory is given concerning situations, causality and the possibility and effects of actions is given. The theory is intended to be used by the Advice Taker, a computer program that is to decide what to do by reasoning. Some simple examples are given of descriptions of situations and deductions that certain goals can be achieved."Reprinted in M. Minsky (ed.), Semantic Information Processing, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968. Related topics are explored in J. McCarthy and Patrick Hayes, Some Philosophical Ideas From the Standpoint of Artificial Intelligence," MI-4, 1969.Stanford Artificial Intelligence Project Memo No 2, July 1963