In forming such a view the Council has available to it a great deal of specialist information through its structure of Boards and Committees-- particularly from the Engineering Board and its Computing Science Committee and from the Science Board and its Biological Sciences Committee. To supplement the important mass of specialist and detailed information available to the Science Research Council, its Chairman decided to commission an independent report by someone outside the Al eld but with substantial general experience of research work in multidisciplinary elds including elds with mathematical, engineering and biological aspects. Such a personal view of the subject might be helpful to other lay persons such as Council members in the process of preparing to study specialist reports and recommendations and working towards detailed policy formation and decision taking. In scientic applications, there is a similar look beyond conventional data processing to the problems involved in large-scale data banking and retrieval, The vast eld of chemical compounds is one which has lent itself to ingenious and eective programs for data storage and retrieval and for the inference of chemical structure from mass-spec- trometry and other data.
The design of classification computers is discussed in the first paper; the design of conditional probability computers Is discussed in a third paper (Uttley, 1958, ref. Nervous transmission is in terms of standard impulses which meet the requirements of binary classification. However, at low levels in nervous systems, intensity is signalled in terms of impulse frequency. If, at higher levels, patterns are distinguished by classification then intensity must not be signalled in terms of frequency but in terms of'place'.
These and other considerations are offered to justify earlier suggestions that the mechanization of Intellect requires a hybrid information-system,, wherein the conditional probabilities of digital decision-processes are determined by a separate (though interacting) computing process which could operate best on'analogue' principles. of Illustrates convincingly in a recent paper on problem-solving, there is a fundamental difference between a solution by a strictly formalised procedure and what is termed a'heuristic' solution entailing the crossing of a logical gap, in that the first is logically reversible and repeatable, while the second is not. "Established rules of inference offer public paths for drawing intelligent conclusions from existing knowledge. Any information-system with'intellect' must be capable of activity The degree of logical indeterminacy (the amount of selective information lacking) defines the width of the logical gap crossed in the solution.
These are (1) based on the use of conditional probabilities, (2) suggested by the idea that biological learning is due to facilitation of synapses and (3) based on existing statistical theory dealing with the optimisation of operating conditions. Although the application of logical-type machines to process control involves formidable complexity, design principles are evolved here for a learning machine which deals with quantitative signal and depends for its operation on the computation of correlation coefficients. By such trial-and-error procedures the control functions can be made to approach their optimum forms. THE CONDITIONAL PROBABILITY COMPUTER The ideas of probability theory must obviously be involved in any empirical approach to process control, since the aim is to maximise the probability of the desired goal in the future.